Spotlight on ....

JULIE LONDON


Even though she had hits of her own, most notably 'Cry Me a River', there are few female interpreters of standard songs who can compare with the exquisite Julie London.



She was born Julie Peck in Santa Rosa, California on September 26th 1926 to Jack and Josephine, a song and dance team. When she was three the family moved to San Bernardino where she had her first taste of performing - on her parents' radio show. Before she was twenty years old she was making a name for herself singing in Los Angeles, to where the family had moved in 1941. In 1944, her beauty gained her a film contract, and after a number of 'bit' parts she started playing leading roles in films like "Task Force" and "The Fat Man".

Julie married her first husband in 1947; he was Jack Webb who later became the star of the highly successful television cop series 'Dragnet'. They divorced in 1953.

Her biggest hit was the emotive song 'Cry Me A River' which she sang in an amusing scene in the rock and roll movie 'The Girl Can't Help It'. The song had been suggested to her by her second husband, the pianist / songwriter and actor Bobby Troup. Julie married Troup on New Years' Eve 1959 and they were together until his death in February 1999. It was a hit in the United States in 1955 and became a million seller (it hit the British charts two years later). Troup had been instrumental in getting Julie signed to the recently formed Liberty record label and her big selling single was also included on her debut album 'Julie Is Her Name'. Her sultry and laid back renditions of the featured romantic songs, backed only by the guitar of jazzman Barney Kessel and Ray Leatherwood on bass, proved extremely popular and it rose to number two in the album charts in the US. The album and single sold over three million copies and resulted in Julie being voted one of the top female singers in 1955, a feat that was repeated in 1956 and 1957.

After her initial breakthrough she recorded prolifically for over a decade with excellent albums such as 'Lonely Girl' in 1956, 'Calendar Girl' (which featured songs with the names of the months in them, for example 'September In The Rain' which is included in this collection') later the same year, and 'About The Blues', which she recorded with the Russ Garcia Orchestra, continuing the impetus. There were other exemplary albums to follow like: 'Julie', 'Julie Is Her Name - Volume Two', 'London By Night' and 'Your Number Please'.

Apart from the excellent music that graced all her albums, the majority of the LP covers made full use of Julie's extraordinary beauty; especially 'Calendar Girl' which had twelve stunning photographs of the star - one for each month - plus a large one on the inside of the foldout cover.

Such was her workload that she managed to record almost a dozen best selling albums in five years - as well as keeping up her acting career. She received rave reviews in movies such as 'A Question Of Adultery' and 'The Great Man' in which she portrayed an alcoholic singer. She even appeared in a western, 'Man Of The West' in 1968.

Her output didn't slacken as the sixties came. Apart from numerous television series, more often than not with husband Troup who was also her producer, Julie still managed to record over a dozen high quality albums in the first half of the decade. Examples of which are: 'Love Letters' (the title track of which is included in this collection), 'Sophisticated Lady', 'All Through The Night' and the sublime 'Latin In a Satin Mood'. 'All Through The Night' contains her "jazzy" versions of Cole Porter songs and any one of them could be included here.

Strangely enough, despite the sheer quality and quantity of her work, none of her albums charted on this side of the Atlantic and 'Cry Me A River' was her only British singles chart entry. She has, however, been popular through the decades and compilations of her music will always have an appreciative market. Her career even had a revival of sorts after Mari Wilson covered 'Cry Me A River' in the early eighties.

Julie’s new album released by E.M.I. is due out in the shops on Monday February 6th.


JULIE LONDON
JULIE / LOVE ON THE ROCKS

Julie
Somebody Loves Me
Dream of You
Daddy
Bye Bye Blackbird
Free and Easy
All My Life
When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along
Midnight Sun
You’re Getting To be A Habit With Me
Don’cha Go ‘Way Mad
(Back Home Again In) Indiana
For You

Love On the Rocks
Love On The Rocks
Guess Who I Saw Today
Where Are You
How Did He Look
What’s New
A Cottage For sale
The End Of A Love affair
I’ll Be Seeing You
Where Did The Gentleman Go
Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
The Man That Got Away
Willow Weep For Me