Julie London Is Interviewed

On Her Singing Career

 
 

        HOLLYWOOD (AP) --- For seven years, Julie London played the role of wife of TV star Jack Webb and mother of his children. Then suddenly her world fell apart.

    Jack and Julie were divorced, and she ended up with a large share of the “Dragnet” millions. But money wasn’t everything.

“I was unsettled,” she recalls. “I think anybody would be if the way they had been living for seven years was suddenly upset.”

She complained of her restlessness to Bobby Troup, leader of a jazz combo and her constant companion since the divorce.

“You need to go to work,” he replied. He tried to persuade her to try a singing career. She resisted. Before her marriage to Webb, she had been a contract player with various studios, but she hadn’t sung since she had been a teenager.

*  *  *

One night she and Troup were in an intimate Sunset Strip nitery. “If I ever do sing in a club, I’d like a place like this,” she commented. He forced the issue by booking her into the place, opening eight weeks later.

She had to hurry, but she made the opening date. And a whole new career started to blossom for her.

Out of the engagement came an offer to record for Liberty Records. She put the budding company on the map with her “Cry Me A River,” which sold 800,000 records. Her album, “Julie IS Her Name,” was the No. 1 seller for five weeks and has been among the top 10 for months. (Assisting the sales could be the traffic-stopping photo of Julie on the cover.)

*  *  *

Several other nightclub engagements followed, and now Julie is resuming her film career. She is playing an important sequence in “The Great Man.” She portrays an alcoholic singer who is interviewed for a memorial program to a top radio emcee who had been killed in an auto crash. Director-star José Ferrer reported she was doing great work.

What does the future hold for her?

No more nightclubs,” she said. “They were great for getting my career started. But now I want to stick to records and pictures.”

When she was appearing in a nightclub in New York, she guested on the Perry Como and Steve Allen shows. But hopes to avoid live TV.

*  *  *

“It terrified me,” she remarked. “I don’t mind a live audience in a nightclub. There are only 125 people or so, and if you hit a bad note, you can laugh about it and say, ‘I guess I’d better try that one again.’

“But on live TV you’ve got millions watching you. If you make a mistake, you’re dead.”

The truth is that Julie is a bundle of nerves where her career is concerned. But despite the ordeal she goes through, she admits that being in show business again has added zest to her life. It has helped her forget the upset caused by the end of her once happy marriage to Webb.

Hollywood

Tuesday - April 10, 1956

By Bob Thomas