Julie London

Julie London (September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress who was 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.

She was married to Jack Webb 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 music; their marriage lasted from July 1947 to November 1953.[1] They had two daughters, one who was killed in a traffic accident in the 1990s and one who survived her. 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.[2] They married on December 31, 1959 and remained married until his death in February 1999. Together, they had one daughter and twin sons.

She 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.

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

She recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles.[3] 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 oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.”

One of her most famous singles “Cry Me a River”, was actually written by her high school classmate Arthur Hamilton, and produced by her husband Troup[4]. 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 version of the song. 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”, “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, oooooh honey, take it easy on the curves;
When love is slow, oooooh honey, what a tonic for my nerves.
Go slow, oooooh honey, we’ve got such a lot of time;
When love is slow, oooooh honey, how the mercury does climb.

Her whispered “you make me feel so good” at the end is breathy and suggests a sexually satisfied partner, serving as later inspiration for Frank Sinatra’s lyrically similar song.

The song “Yummy Yummy Yummy” was featured on the HBO series Six Feet Under, and appears on the series soundtrack album.

Her last recording was the classic song “My Funny Valentine” for the soundtrack of the 1981 Burt Reynolds film Sharky’s Machine.

1. Cry Me A River
2. In The Middle Of A Kiss
3. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
4. No Moon At All
5. June In January
6. ‘Round Midnight
7. In The Still Of The Night
8. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
9. Invitation To The Blues
10. Easy Street
11. Go Slow
12. The Thrill Is Gone
13. I Surrender, Dear
14. Two Sleepy People
15. A Cottage For Sale
16. Daddy
17. Gone With The Wind
12. I’m In The Mood For Love

Footer Ad