Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ode to Julie London

Julie London told Life Magazine in 1957 that she had "only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate."

And intimate it was. Like so much of 1950s popular culture, there was a thin veneer of respectability on top and oceans of roiling sexuality underneath.

When she sings a line like “Don’t Smoke in Bed,” it ain’t no public safety warning. It’s enough to make Smokey the Bear blush.

It’s hard to believe she was married to Jack Webb and Bobby Troup -- two guys who seemed pretty square on the outside. In fact, I remember her on Emergency back in the 1970s. She didn’t seem that smoky to me then, but, of course, I was more interested in the fire trucks.

Upon further review, Webb and Troup were actually a couple of jazz hounds. In fact, Troup produced many of Julie London’s albums and even wrote such classics as “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and “The Girl Can’t Help It.” And I became more interested in Julie London than fire trucks.

For more on Julie, check out Java’s Bachelor Pad and Brian’s Drive-In Theater. Below are some Julie London album covers from my collection (My favorite is the middle).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE HER! So sultry, such a boice.
Listening to "I want you for Christmas" as sung by her... What a voice