Nice Girls Don’t Stay

For Breakfast - 1967

 
 

The image ineluctable of beauteous Julie London is of the singer of sad love songs. A wonderfully poignant and appealing image it is, calling to mind a distinguished gallery of great performers. Sad-faced Helen Morgan is, perhaps, the prototype of all the torch balladeers who once sang in small, intimate clubs in the wee hours of the morning, standing under a single beam of light. Before the girl who is remembered for her heartbreak rendition of My Bill in Show Boat, there was a funny-faced Fanny Brice, whose singing of My Man remains one of the grand moments of American vaudeville and whose tortured life provided Barbra Streisand with a moving stage role. In the great tradition of torch singing, there's the unforgettable French songbird Edith Piaf, whose depth of feeling transformed disappointment into tragedy, and by contrast, young Dinah Shore with the wistful, little-girl-lost sound of "Ah, the apple trees..." and the pain of The End of A Love Affair.


In our day, Julie London has become the singer par excellence of brittle songs of unreuited and misused love. Hers in not the driving style of the vengeful youngster of "Boots Were Made For Walkin'...over you, man," but of the grief-suppressed romantic of You Made Me Love You...I didn't want to do it...Everything I Have is Yours, I Surrender, Dear, and I Didn't Know What Time It Was. It was ordained that Julie should capture public fancy with Arthur Hamilton's imaginative torcher Cry Me a River. The hoarse, frog-in-throat style and the lowdown, soft-and-slow delivery were as natural to the song and to Julie as thorns to a rose.


In this album, Julie sings some of the great ballads of the '20's and '30's with warmth, intimacy, with deep feeling but not without tasteful restraint. Her delivery is not pop and not quite jazz. Put it on the borderline between the two and call hers the art of nuance. She takes attractive liberties with melodies and phrasing. Disposed to low-register sounds, she makes a telling use of glissando. Look for subtle, understated turns of thought and sound.


Julie -- it's hard to call her anything else when you think of that face -- never needed more accompaniment than a guitar and bass. She supplied all the elements that made singing an experience, and not merely an entertainment. But in this album, producer Calvin Carter has skillfully added contemporary market sounds. And so we have the provocative counterpoint, or as Carter put it, "the side comments," of organ, trumpet and bedroom sax.


Listen after hours...and cry me an old-fashioned glass of tears for all the sad and tender romantics of today and yesterday.


Footnote from the Webmaster on Julie’s Mickey Mouse Club rendition.


Apparently Julie was in Australia, backstage with her young daughter, Kelly, waiting to rehearse in a nightclub. Her little girl was getting antsy and to calm her down, Julie started singing her the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. Her guitar player joined in with a little accompaniment. The result was so satisfying that they closed the show that night with that number to the complete delight and approval of the audience. Who else could have made Marlboro cigarettes and Mickey Mouse drip with sexuality?


Austin Kearney


Track Listing:


1. Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast

2. When I Grow Too Old to Dream

3. I've Got a Crush On You

4. Everything I Have Is Yours

5. You Made Me Love You

6. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home

7. I Didn't Know What Time It Was

8. Give a Little Whistle

9. I Surrender Dear

10. You Go To My Head

11. There Will Never Be Another You

12. Mickey Mouse

 

Liner Notes by Arnold Shaw:

Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast

When I Grow Too Old to Dream

I've Got a Crush On You

Everything I Have Is Yours

You Made Me Love You

Baby, Won't You Please Come Home

I Didn't Know What Time It Was

Give a Little Whistle

I Surrender Dear

You Go To My Head

There Will Never Be Another You

Mickey Mouse March