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December 13, 1963

My favorite Judy Garland performance is from The Judy Garland Show. It was taped on December 13, 1963 and she sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a tribute to John F. Kennedy just three weeks after his assassination. (The episode AIRED ON JANUARY 12, 1964.)

If you’ve never seen it – or if it’s been a while – you can watch it here.

She was mourning along with the rest of the country, yes, but she had also lost a dear friend. I can’t help but think this was her way of processing her personal loss. It was before my time, but I imagine Choosing to share that personal grief with the country in such a way did more to help heal than the Tribute Show she wanted to do (and CBS, now famously, scrapped) would have.

I think about it today, after almost 14 months of shuttered theatres.

Our truth is marching on!

Playing around with color. Why not? I was intrigued by the idea that maybe not everyone who knows this performance also knows that her stunning Ray Aghayan gown is red. But then again, it was aired in black & white so why not capture the time by staying true to that? The joy of digital art is that I don’t have to decide. You can.