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A common misperception is that Peter wrote this song in memory of his mother-in-law, Judy Garland (he was married to Liza Minnelli). The real story is that during at a cabaret performance of the singer Julie Wilson, Peter sat next to a table of rude patrons who kept talking while Ms. Wilson sang. Peter, who admired Julie, slipped a note to the chattering class, it simply read: "Quiet please, there's a lady on stage." Peter himself acknowledged that it was this incident that inspired this song, and Julie Wilson as the actual muse.
There are two reasons for the common misconception that the song was written as a tribute to Judy Garland:
1) The musical about Allen's life The Boy From Oz employed the song successfully within the context of the musical's story line to pay tribute to the memory of Peter's Mother-in-Law and dear friend Judy Garland. The use of the song was understandable and worked well.
2) It is rumored that Liza was behind the change of original inspiration, she wanted the song to be dedicated to her mother. Yet the lyrics have little to do with Judy's stardom or her eager and enthusiastic audiences. (thanks, Billie - Sydney, Australia)
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