Two For Tuesday: Julie London

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I think most of us know Julie London as Dixie McCall, RN on the TV show Emergency! in the Seventies. The show was produced by her first husband, Jack Webb, and also starred her second husband, musician Bobby Troup, as Dr. Joe Early. She started her entertainment career as an actress, acting in 45 movies and TV shows, including 1956’s The Lady Can’t Help It with Jayne Mansfield and Tom Ewell (she appears to a drunk Tom Ewell early in the movie).

Today, though, I want to feature Julie London the jazz singer. She recorded 29 studio albums over a recording career that spanned from 1955 to 1969. Her first single, “Cry Me A River,” accompanied by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Brown on bass, was her most successful, reaching #9 on the Hot 100. That was the most chart success she had (her last single, “Like To Get To Know You,” reached #15 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1969), but her albums were reasonably successful, as much for their erotic (for the Fifties) album jackets as for her singing.

“Perfidia,” from Latin In A Satin Mood (1963)

“Black Coffee,” from Around Midnight (1960)

She retired from both acting and singing at 52, when Emergency! was cancelled. She suffered a stroke in 1995 and died in 2000, the year after Troup died, on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

Julie London, your Two For Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

9 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Julie London”

  1. Used to watch Emergency all the time. Had a crush on Randy Mantooth (and Robert Fuller for that matter). Did not know the back story of Julie London. Great songs. Thanks for sharing! How are your legs coming along? My husband is still having some foot swelling since his stent in June so we’re trying the compression sock again.

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    1. Through the end of the year, it’s on MeTV weekdays from 4-6 (two episodes), if you want to see it again.

      Legs are… enh… but the wraps are working. I imagine I’d have the same amount of luck with compression socks.

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    1. I didn’t watch it when it was on, but I’ve caught a few episodes since then, and like the way it’s ten minutes of plot and driving around with the sirens going the rest of the time. I also like the way Gage, DeSoto, and the rest of the guys in the station go from being total doofuses one minute to being highly-skilled firefighters and paramedics the next. I’ve seen where Julie London was a joy to work with and was especially close with Randolph Mantooth. Glad I could introduce you to Julie the singer…

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    1. Great voice and a very attractive woman. Her voice appeals for the same reason Karen Carpenter’s does, and she was an excellent interpreter of songs. It’s said that her first (and really only) hit, “Cry Me A River,” was directed at Jack Webb…

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  2. I loved watching Emergency! as a kid during mid-morning summer reruns on Channel 32. Two fun facts about the show that I recall when surfing the web one day is that the show takes place in the same “universe” as several other shows broadcast prior, during and after its run and that actual firefighters with SAG cards were cast in the show as they knew how to use the equipment. I’ll need to look into the specifics again as you’ve renewed my curiousity!

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    1. It was a Jack Webb/Mark VII Productions show, so it probably crossed over with “Adam-12,” “Dragnet,” and maybe even “Sierra,” one of the lesser-known shows. There might have been more, I don’t know. I know some of the actors on the show used their own names; they were firefighters and probably the ones you’re thinking of.

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