"Julie Is Her Name"
Julie London, 1955
London once said of her vocal style,
"It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to a microphone.
But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.''
Nothing could be more true of her debut album, Julie is Her Name.
London, backed only by Barney Kessel on guitar
and Ray Leatherwood on bass creates one of the purest, most
subtle lounge albums of all times (not to mention one of the best vocal
jazz albums ever). Her tormented version of "Cry Me A River" became her
biggest hit and became the gold standard for all future versions of the
song. Born to a song-and-dance family, London grew up with
music all around her. Although she decided to pursue the acting side of
show business, she never lost her love of music. During her marriage to
Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame), her love of jazz
and going out to nightclubs grew. With a little prodding from her soon-to-be
second husband Bobby Troup (who is famous for penning "(Get
Your Kicks On) Route 66"), London took that leap from nightclub
patron to nightclub performer.
In the liner notes to the
Julie Is Her Name, London was referred to as
the "the girl with the 'come hither' voice." Add to that a little cheesecake
on the front cover and London's sultry image was complete.
Produced by Troup, Julie Is Her Name pushed London
into the musical spotlight. Although London kept recording into the late
60's, nothing matched the beautiful simplicity and warmth of her first
album. Don't forget to check out pin-up shots of Julie London in the Femme
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