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  • Writer's pictureHarvey Brownstone

Going "Over the Rainbow" with Judy Garland

There are celebrities. And there are stars. And there are superstars. And then there are iconic legends who are so spectacularly talented and charismatic that they exemplify the very nature of the word "entertainment". Judy Garland most definitely falls into the latter category.

When I decided to do a show about Judy Garland, I knew there was only one person sufficiently knowledgeable about her life and career to invite as my guest: John Fricke. He has written seven stellar books about Judy and her movies. Those books are such treasures, because they're written by a devoted fan who has dedicated his entire life to researching every detail of her existence on this planet.

A few weeks ago I sent John Fricke an email inviting him to be a guest on my show. Fifteen minutes later my phone rang. It was John. We hit it off immediately. Two hours later, he was still regaling me with stories about Judy's youth, movie career, concert tours, failed marriages, substance abuse problems, financial problems - you name it, he knew it all, and in meticulous detail. I was dumbfounded by his encyclopedic knowledge of Judy's every step during her tumultuous but highly eventful life.

John could tell that I was a Judy Garland fan....nowhere near as knowledgeable as him, but still a loyal and devoted fan. He readily agreed to appear on my show. We filmed our interview today, and it is now available on this website and on YouTube ( for the world to see.

John was so full of information, warmth, compassion and love for his beloved Judy Garland. His description of what it was like to sit in the audience at one of her concerts was mesmerizing. His recounting of his conversation with her after the show gave me goosebumps. There were moments of pure magic in that interview.

John and I became instant friends. The chemistry between us was palpably evident during the interview. We are both being inundated with wonderful comments from viewers who noticed and appreciated that - and we are both very gratified by it. I enjoyed every moment of our conversation and hated to see it end. And I can't wait to have him come back when his next book is released.

Guests like John Fricke, who are so incredibly knowledgeable, challenge me to be the best interviewer I can be. They are at the top of their game and so I must be at the top of mine. And frankly, guests like John Fricke set the bar very high for every other guest. My audience has come to expect that guests who are willing to subject themselves to a "Harvey Brownstone Interview" will be of the highest caliber. That is a high standard to strive for, but so far I believe we are achieving it.

I hope that every Judy Garland fan out there will bask in the glow of John Fricke's interview. What a wonderful way to honour the talent and legacy of the greatest entertainer the world has ever known!

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