Julie Made Her Points With Solons

WASHINGTON (UPI) --- There are many ways to influence a U.S. Senator. One way is to have Julie London sing the theme song of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Advocates of legislation to amend the U.S. copyright laws tried that method Tuesday and it appeared to be extremely effective.

I’ll analyze this latest lobbying technique in a moment, but first, a little background music.

A Senate judiciary subcommittee currently is holding hearings on a measure that would enable singers, musicians and such nondescript performers as Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen to collect fees from radio stations when their records are played on the air.

At present, only composers benefit from canned music broadcasts. This arrangement embraces the principle that writing a song is creativity where as singing a song is merely interpretation.

Several recording stars, including Mitch Miller, Red Foley and Guy Lombardo, appeared before the subcommittee to argue that performers are also creative.

They all made persuasive witnesses but it obviously was Miss London who scored the telling points.

She brought with her two recordings of the Mickey Mouse Club song --- one as sung by the Mickey Mouse Club and the other as sung by Miss London.

If you ever have heard Miss London sing --- or better, if you have ever seen Miss London sing --- you are aware that her technique is not so much to sing a song as to seduce it.

From the standpoint of pure sound, her voice is little more than an asthmatic wheeze. But when it becomes entwined with a set of lyrics, interesting things happen --- chemically if not musically.

In countless television commercials, Miss London has given an aura of romance to flip-top cigarette boxes. And she has done the same for the Mickey Mouse Club theme.

Her recording treats this mindless ditty as a dreamy love song delivered as a “take your time, handsome, I’ve got all night” tempo. The effect is startling, to say the least.

I kept an eye on the members of the subcommittee as they listened to the record. They had a bemused look, as though they might be thinking of running away and joining the Mouseketeers.

This is not necessarily a recruiting practice of which the late Walt Disney might have approved. But it proved that singers can be as creative as composers. If not more so.

Webmaster note: I was not an “Arts & Crafts” major in college. I saw this title and said is ‘Solon’ a typo? It turns out Solon was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker and elegiac (?) poet. His reforms are credited with laying the foundations of Athenian democracy back in the day. (638 BC - 558 BC) The author of this article was paying a compliment to the lawmakers of the day.  Bottom line...40+ years ago, Senators thought Julie London was smokin’ hot. I suspect they were far smarter than the (crap) crop of legislators we are inflicted with today.


The Bulletin – Bend, Oregon

April 13, 1967 (Wednesday)

By Dick West