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Julie London: Cry Me A River - Her 62 Finest
rec. 1955-1962
RETROSPECTIVE RTS4300 [78:56 + 79:14]

Julie London was born Julie Peck in 1926 in Santa Rosa, California, and had multiple careers in show business. She became popular as a pin-up model during World War II, and with her stunning good looks went on to appear in more than twenty movies, as well as many television variety shows and dramas. Her first movie role came in the 1944 jungle film Nabonga, where she played opposite Buster Crabbe, along with Ray Corrigan playing the title role in a gorilla suit. One of her last roles came starring in the TV show “Emergency” from 1972 to 1979 as nurse Dixie McCall, appearing with her husband Bobby Troup who played Dr. Joe Early.

Julie’s singing career began in 1955 with her first hit Cry Me A River, and she went on to record 32 albums as a jazz-pop artist. She was a heavy cigarette smoker most of her life, and never took a singing lesson. Even though her voice lacked strength and projection, it was alluring, soft and sultry, with perfect pitch and intonation, and she always sang close to the microphone, creating an aura of intimacy.

This two-disc set contains 62 songs selected from 13 of her albums recorded between 1955 and 1962, including the entire set from her first album, Julie Is Her Name. One of the many fine tunes from that album is I’m Glad There Is You, first recorded in 1941 by Bob Eberly with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Julie is joined by guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Ray Leatherwood, who provide an easy rhythm and soft string accompaniment to match the mood. Another lovely tune from that album is Laura, with music by David Raksin and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, from the 1944 film. Julie sings the first half of the song a cappella, with an unusual echo effect, before she is joined by the guitar and bass to complete the short number.

Bobby Troup wrote the song Daddy in 1940, which became a big hit for Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra on their Sunday Serenade radio series. Julie recorded the tune with Jimmie Rowles and His Orchestra for Liberty Records on the Julie album, released in 1958. Julie swings it with the band in a great finger-snapping arrangement, with Jimmie on piano and some smooth violin and tenor sax solos. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke combined to write the music and lyrics for the elegant ballad It Could Happen To You. Julie recorded the tune with André Previn and his Orchestra for the 1959 Liberty album Your Number, Please. The song gets a rich string arrangement highlighted by beautiful woodwinds and flutes. Julie sings a swinging version of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend with Felix Slatkin and his Orchestra in a tight arrangement with a light glockenspiel countermelody. The tune first appeared on the Liberty album Whatever Julie Wants, released in July 1961.

This is a wonderful collection of songs from Julie’s career. Most of the songs are short, less than three minutes, and that is unfortunate, as her voice was truly enchanting and a pleasure to listen to.

An interesting 16-page booklet is included with the discs. Ray Crick compiled the music and also provided liner-notes and comments. The audio restoration and re-mastering was provided by
Martin Haskell.

Bruce McCollum

Track-Listing

CD 1 (1955-1958)
1. Cry Me A River
2. I Should Care
3. I’m In The Mood For Love
4. I’m Glad There Is You
5. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
6. I Love You
7. Say It Isn’t So
8. It Never Entered My Mind
9. Easy Street
10. ‘S Wonderful
11. No Moon At All
12. Laura
13. Gone With The Wind
14. February Brings the Rain
15. I’ll Remember April
16. Memphis In June
17. September In The Rain
18. Lonely Girl
19. It’s the Talk Of The Town
20. What’ll I Do?
21. Where or When
22. The Meaning Of the Blues
23. Blues In The Night
24. If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight
25. I Wanna be Loved
26. Lover Man
27. Body And Soul
28. Somebody Loves Me
29. Daddy
30. Midnight Sun
31. For You
32. Blue Moon
Musicians:
Barney Kessel (guitar) (1-13)
Ray Leatherwood (double-bass) (1-13)
Peter King and His Orchestra (14-17)
Al Viola (guitar) (18-21)
Russ Garcia and His Orchestra (22-28)
Jimmie Rowles and His Orchestra (29-31)
Howard Roberts (guitar) (32)
Red Mitchell (double-bass) (32)
 
CD 2 (1958-1962)
1. What Is This Thing Called Love?
2. How Long Has This Been Going On?
3. Little White Lies
4. I Guess I’ll Have To Change My Plans
5. In The Middle Of A Kiss
6. Just The Way I Am
7. Something I Dreamed Last Night
8. That Old Feeling
9. Cuddle Up A Little Closer
10. Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?
11. It Could Happen To You
12. When I Fall In Love
13. One For My Baby And One For The Road
14. The More I See You
15. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
16. The Thrill Is Gone
17. Sentimental Journey
18. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
19. ‘Round Midnight
20. Black Coffee
21. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
22. Don’t Smoke In Bed
23. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
24. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
25. Love For Sale
26. Sophisticated Lady
27. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
28. I Love You, Porgy
29. Come On-A My House
30. Broken-Hearted Melody
Musicians:
Howard Roberts (guitar) (1-4)
Red Mitchell (double-bass) (1-4)
Peter King and His Orchestra (5-10)
Andre Previn and His Orchestra (11-14)
Bob Flanagan (trombone) (15-18)
Emil Richards (vibraphone) (15-18)
Jimmy Rowles (piano) (15-18)
Al Viola (guitar) (15-18)
Don Bagley (double-bass) (15-18)
Earl Palmer (drums) (15-18)
Dick Reynolds and His Orchestra (19-22)
Felix Slatkin and His Orchestra (23-25)
Unknown Orchestra (26-30)

 

 




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