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The Julie London Show

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Julie London You're in for a treat. Since my post two days ago on singer-songwriter and pianist Bobby Troup, I've been bombarded by emails from readers—some who are long-time fans of Troup and others who are new to him. All of those email writers also said they were fans of singer Julie London, who was married to Troup.

By any measure, London was special. In someways, her recordings don't really do her justice. As the following video clip demonstrates, London really had to be heard and seen to be fully appreciated. The only other singer I can think of who is this much fun to watch on camera is Nancy Wilson. Both London and Nancy knew how to work their feline features and hourglass figures  gingerly to punctuate a song's lyrics in the most sophisticated and seductive way. As singers, they were the new models—like cars with fins or homes made largely of glass. There was a visual quality about them in addition to their royal voices—a sense of how to work a camera with finesse and win over audiences.

Here's Julie London and Bobby Troup appearing on a Japanese TV special from May 28, 1964 called The Julie London Show. They are joined on stage at different points by trumpeter Joe Burnett, guitarist Dennis Budimir, bassist Don Bagley and drummer Dee Barton. There's also a big band back there.

Just be sure you're sitting down for the 48-minute show. The performances by both singers are exceptional. Watch carefully what London does with her eyes and how she cocks her head or tilts it back to sell a song, not to mention that pearl necklace of a voice. London also never oversells a song. Instead, she coolly operates in the most minimalist style—breathy and smart. Like Nancy, mesmerizing—yet untouchable... 


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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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