Tuesday, September 30, 2008



Last Friday, September 26th, I missed the birthday of my favorite of the ‘girl singers,’ Julie London. For me Julie London epitomized the term torch singer. I could listen, and sometimes do, to her sultry, smoky-voiced rendition of standards from the cool era of the ‘40s and ‘50s all day. London never had the range of Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, but often used restraint, softness, and subtlety to maximum advantage.

A drop dead georgous actress as well as a singer, London played with heavyweights like Gregory Peck and Rock Hudson in various films. She was married to Jack Webb of Dragnet fame for seven years before marrying songwriter Bobby Troup ("Route 66"), whom she met on the set of the Jack Webb produced television show Emegency (1974 – 1978), on which she played Nurse Dixie McCall.

London performed her biggest hit, "Cry Me a River," in the Jayne Mansfield film The Girl Can't Help It. Despite her sex symbol image – London was known for her sexy LP covers, which make them collector's items – she was surprisingly shy, and left show biz altogether in the late '70s.

In the mid-'90s London suffered a stroke, which led to a half-decade of poor health and ultimately contributed to her death on October 18, 2000. Her voice lives on.

1 comment:

Keith said...

I didn't realize it would have been her birthday recently. Thanks for bringing this up. She had an incredible voice. She was talented and beautiful.