Julie London

A few month ago, I wrote about a movie star; a very attractive women, who had only 1 major hit, yet we are getting a lot of searches for her (Anne Margaret). 

OK, so I will try this again with another person, but I will go back even further… into the Fifties. The girl for this post was married to one of my favourite actor/producer/writer people: Jack Webb of Dragnet.  Her one great hit was written by her high school classmate Arthur Hamilton.

Julie London

Jack Webb and Julie

Jack Webb and Julie

Julie London

(September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000)

Video: Cry me a River


1.  Cry me a River/ Liberty 55006/ December 1955/ #9

Other Songs Russ Likes:

Black Coffee

Around Midnight

So In Love (Cole Porter)

My Funny Valentine (1981)

Julie London was an American singer and actress known for her smoky, sensual voice and role as Nurse Dixie McCall RN on the television show Emergency! (1972–1977).

Born in Santa Rosa, California, as Gayle Peck, she was the daughter of Jack and Josephine Peck, who were a vaudeville song-and-dance team. When she was 14, the family moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after that, she began appearing in movies. She graduated from the Hollywood Professional High School in 1945.

London began singing in public in her teens before appearing in film. She was discovered by Sue Carol (wife of Alan Ladd) while working as an elevator operator. Her early film career did not include any singing roles.

She married Jack Webb, an actor of Dragnet fame. Her obvious beauty and self-poise (she was a pinup girl prized by GIs during World War II) contrasted with his pedestrian appearance and stiff-as-a-board acting technique (much parodied by impersonators). This unlikely pairing arose from his and her love for jazz; their marriage lasted from July 1947 to November 1953. They had two daughters, one who was killed in a traffic accident in the 1990s and one who survived London.

In 1954, having become somewhat reclusive after her divorce from Jack Webb, she met jazz composer and musician Bobby Troup at a club on La Brea Blvd. They married on December 31, 1959 and remained married until Troup’s death in February 1999. Together, they had one daughter and twin sons.

She recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles. She was named by Billboard the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, and 1957.

In 1957, she was the subject of a Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, “It’s only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of over-smoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.”

One of her most famous singles, Cry Me a River, was written by her high school classmate Arthur Hamilton, and produced by Bobby Troup. The song was featured in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It. This became a million-selling single after release in April 1957 and could still sell on re-issue in April 1983 on the back of attention brought by the Mari Wilson cover version. The song has gained recent attention after being featured in the films Passion of Mind (2000) and V for Vendetta (2006).

Other hit singles include Makin’ Whoopee, Blue Moon, and It Had To Be You. Songs such as Go Slow epitomized her career style: her voice is slow, smoky, and sensual. The lyrics strongly suggest sex but never explicitly define it.

Go Slow

London suffered a stroke in 1995, and was in poor health until her death in Encino, California, at the age of 74, survived by four of her five children. On her death in October 2000, Julie London was interred in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.



One response to “Julie London

  1. These people fascinate me . Cry Me a River is sooo musically deep, beyond brilliant , in a class by itself . . .

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