Julie London: A Good Cry


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Julie London sang Cry Me A River several times on TV over the years after she made the song her own in 1956. Written by Arthur Hamilton in 1953 for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the film Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), the song was dropped in 1954 during production. Cry Me a River was then offered to singer Peggy King, but Mitch Miller, Columbia's head of A&R at the time, didn't like the word “plebeian" in the lyric and nixed it. In 1955, Cry Me a River moved next to Julie London, who had just signed a contract with Liberty Records. She recorded the song that year for her first album, Julie Is Her Name, which was released in 1956 and produced by Bobby Troup, who would become her husband in 1959.

Accompanied only by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass, the haunting song reached No. 9 on the U.S. pop charts in early '56. London then appeared on The Rosemary Clooney Show in May 1956 to sing the hit and promote the album. She'd sing it again that year as an apparition in the film The Girl Can't Help It, which was released in December 1956.

Here's London on The Rosemary Clooney Show singing Cry Me a River, followed by the Hi-Lo's singing I Thought About You...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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