Singer Julie London was the first video vocalist. I don't mean that she was the first to appear in film. Plenty of others came before her. But she was the first to fully understand how to use the camera to enhance her delivery and capture hearts. And unlike Marilyn Monroe, her contemporary, she did this without ever over-playing the minx card.
London had a dry, cool and urbane tone—singing a song as though she had just fled the clutches of a brutish boyfriend and was asking you to help hide her. There was a certain breathlessness and vulnerability about her voice, and yet her eyes told you she was completely in charge. Adding to her sensuality, London was in complete control of her features and figure. Which all makes sense, since she began as an actress. Singing came later.
There's plenty more you probably don't know about Julie London. That ends now...
Here's Part 1 of a documentary on the singer produced for the BBC in 2006...
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.