Year One of National Coverage
- January 6, 1941, Cumberland Evening Times, page 9:
Sister of Dance Star Visits Friends Here
Miss Joan Kelly, Pittsburgh, was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Winter, Roberts Place, enroute home from New York where she attended the premiere of the new musical comedy hit, "Pal Joey," in which her brother, Gene Kelly, is the star at the Barrymore Theatre.
The show is based on the "Pal Joey" letters that appeared in The New Yorker, and has received unanimous praise from the critics.
The mother of Gene and Joan conducts a dance studio in Johnstown, Pa.
- February 14, 1941, Cumberland Evening Times, page 24:
As Joey Evans in the new musical comedy "Pal Joey," Gene is about the heeliest hell that ever stepped on a neck, but off-stage he's a friendly Irish lad who started a dancing school to help pay his way through Pittsburgh university, barnstormed night clubs from New York to Dallas and made himself know to Broadway as the hoofer in William Saroyan's "Time of Your Life." (The dancing school still is going).
- June 7, 1941, Brooklyn Eagle, page 16:
Robert Francis catches up with Gene Kelly backstage at the Barrymore Theatre where he's currently making a hit with Pal Joey. Also on hand is "little Betsy Blair," currently of William Saroyan's The Beautiful People at the Lyceum.
The Kelly-Blair romance started when she applied for a chance in the Diamond Horseshoe something over a year ago. Gene had been hired by Billy (Rose) to stage the dances. Betsy popped in, looking for a job.
"Don't you dare to say that!" responds Blair when Francis asks if they're engaged. "Everybody goes around saying we are, but it isn't so."
"Sure," adds Gene Kelly. "I couldn't marry her now, anyway. Ain't I the No. 1, 47th St., 1941 'heel'? I've got to wait until she's a big star and can support me in the luxury to which I am accustomed!"
Journalist Francis watches him watch her and concludes: "They're a nice twosome."
- September 25, 1941, the New Castle News carries a photo of Gene Kelly, 27, and the former Betsy Blair, 17, as they leave the church of St. John the Evangelist in Philadelphia after their marriage on September 22. (Kelly's first of three marriages, this one lasted 15-1/2 years until their April 1957 divorce.)
- February 26, 1942, our old friend Louella O. Parsons reports, syndicated in the Waterloo Daily Courier where I spotted it on page 19:
When Judy Garland was in New York she saw "Pal Joey" and then went around sounding like a press agent about young Gene Kelly. When she came back home she kept on raving about how wonderful he would be for pictures. Apparently her M-G-M bosses have decided that Judy is an A-1 talent scout--for not only have they signed him on a term contract but Gene is handed to Judy for the male lead opposite her in "Big Time." This song and dance story about the good old days of vaudeville gets going right away at Culver City with Arthur Freed at the helm.
Louella's Big Time would refer to For Me and My Gal which appropriately kicks off TCM's Gene Kelly centennial celebration on August 23.
TCM Summer Under the Stars 2012
The 100th anniversary of Kelly's birth is marked by 24 hours of Summer Under the Stars programming as outlined by the schedule following below.
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Gene Kelly - TCM Summer Under the Stars
- 6:00 am - For Me and My Gal (1942) starring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, George Murphy
- 8:00 am - Anchors Aweigh (1945) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson
- 10:30 am - The Three Musketeers (1948) starring Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson
- 1:00 pm - Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams
- 2:45 pm - The Pirate (1948) starring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Gladys Cooper
- 4:30 pm - Invitation to the Dance (1956) starring Gene Kelly, Tommy Rall, Tamara Toumanova
- 6:15 pm - On the Town (1949) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Vera-Ellen
- 8:00 pm - Cover Girl (1944) starring Gene Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Phil Silvers
- 10:00 pm - An American in Paris (1951) starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant
- 12:00 am - Singin' in the Rain (1952) starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor
- 2:00 am - Inherit the Wind (1960) starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly
- 4:15 am - Black Hand (1950) starring Gene Kelly, J. Carrol Naish, Teresa Celli
Note: All times EST