Song Gave Julie Big New Success

 
 

HOLLYWOOD --- We finally caught up with a singer who is responsible for more melancholy among the young lovers of America than any other person. Her name is Julie London, and her record of “Cry Me a River” not only sold in the millions, it also depressed millions with its lyric of “Come on and cry me a river---Cry me a river, I cried a river over you.”

Miss London had been a movie star in her own right before she was 20 and married Jack “Dragnet” Webb, then a struggling actor and radio announcer. She abandoned her career and became wife and mother.

After seven years of marriage she and Mr. Webb were divorced and Miss London, who was given a healthy alimony settlement, went back into show business. After the success of “Cry Me A River” she cut three record albums and appeared in three films. She plays an alcoholic singer in Universal – International’s “The Great Man”, a mint-julip-style alcoholic in “Drango”, an Earlmar Production: and she makes a guest appearance as herself in 20th Century Fox’s “The Girl Can’t Help It.” In show business parlance she is “hot”.

“Being ‘hot’ is wonderful,” Miss London told us in her whispery voice that fills a room like perfume. “I’m a pretty lazy girl by nature and I’ve almost gotten to the point of enjoying work.”

If you’re lazy why didn’t you just retire and live on your alimony, we asked.

“Well, for one thing, I only get $20,000 a year and you can’t buy oil wells with that. More important, I was sick of being idle. The kids are in bed by 7 o’clock and I’m not one for sitting around brooding. It’s nice to be independent and I don’t intend living on alimony all my life.”

Miss London said she complained over her relentlessness to band-leader Bobby Troup who suggested she go to work and arranged for her to be booked as a singer into an intimate Sunset Strip nightclub. Out of that engagement came an offer to record for Liberty records and she put the company on the map with her recording of “Cry Me A River.”

“You know,” Miss London said, “I’m pretty surprised at all this excitement about my voice. I don’t think I have a voice at all, I’m just a stylist. A real singer knows all about things like sustaining notes and breath control. Me---I just sing the way I’ve been doing all my life. I used to sing as  a kid but never professionally. I guess “Cry Me A River” was the start of my whole new career, coming as it did just after my divorce.

Miss London admitted she liked the song but it has plagued her ever since it was first released a year ago. “I usually meet people who say, ‘So you’re Julie London,’ and they look at me with pity for the broken heart they’re sure I must have.

You mean you didn’t have a broken heart when you cut the record, we said with disappointment.

“Are you kidding?” asked Miss London.

Julie Discusses Her Singing and Acting Careers

The Calgary Herald

Mondday - December 31, 1956

By Joe Hyams

(New York Herald Tribune News Service)