The People Involved

John Fricke

John Fricke


John Fricke is widely regarded as the world's preeminent Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland historian and author; a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer/writer; a Grammy Award nominee; and the annual host/emcee of nation-wide Oz and Garland festivals for the last twenty-seven years.

His latest book, The Wonderful World of Oz, traces the history of the L. Frank Baum-founded phenomenon from 1900 to 2013 in text and over 300 color illustrations. John regularly can be seen on the Turner Classic Movies channel in their "Word of Mouth" preview segments. Four years ago, he cohosted (with Robert Osborne) Judy Garland's 90th birthday celebration on that network, and in 2014, he was a special guest presenter at their Los Angeles film festival. In 2013 and 2014, he served as Warner Bros.' media spokesman for the 75th anniversary of MGM's The Wizard of Oz, and he was their emcee at the 3D/IMAX re-premiere of the film at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre. John is the only Oz historian featured in the new "making of" Oz documentary on the current Warner Home Video DVD re-mastering of the film and delivers the commentary track accompanying the movie itself. John has spoken about Oz and Garland everywhere from "The Today Show" to CNN, National Public Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, The Museum of Modern Art, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, and The Paley Center -- all in New York -- as well as at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles and the Deauville Film Festival in France. Currently, he is working with Aaron Harburg and Ryan Jay on "The Sound of Oz" documentary about songwriters E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and Harold Arlen. John is the historian and creative consultant for the new Judy Garland stage musical, Chasing Rainbows, which had a three-month engagement in September 2016 at the famed Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. He regularly hosts the major Oz festivals in Chittenango, NY (OzStravaganza!), Grand Rapids, MN (Wizars of Oz Festival at the Judy Garland Museum), Tinley Park, IL (Midwest Oz Fest), and Wamego, KS (Oztoberfest). He attended his first Oz Club convention as a preteen in 1963. John has served as president of the Club and editor-in-chief of The Baum Bugle, and is a recipient of The L. Frank Baum Memorial Award. (Photograph by Luther MacNaughton)

  • New York, NY