Song Lyric Sunday: “Cry Me A River”

I understand that my good friend Mary B over at Jingle Jangle Jungle chose today’s prompt, “crying/sadness.” There were two ways I could have gone with this, and I figured one of them was a perfect Battle of the Bands (which you’ll see February 1), so I’m going with the other here.

Arthur Hamilton’s “Cry Me A River” is the quintessential torch song, in my never-humble opinion, and when sung by the quintessential torch singer (again, IMNHO), Julie London, accompanied only by super session men Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass, the result is pure magic. Without further ado (yes, that is the way it’s spelled), from 1955, Julie London, “Cry Me A River.”

The lyrics, according to Last.fm:

Now you say you’re lonely
You cry the whole night through
Well you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
Now you say you’re sorry
For being so untrue
Well you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
You drove me, nearly drove me
Out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember, I remember
All that you said
Told me love was too plebian
Told me you were through with me
And now you say you love me
Well, just to prove you do
Come on and cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday on a very windy January 20, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: Julie London (Encore Performance)

I did a series on women singers (informally called “Chanteuses”) in late 2016, including one of my favorites, Julie London, who was both a wonderful singer and a very beautiful woman.

I think most of us know Julie London as Dixie McCall, RN on the TV show Emergency! in the Seventies. The show was produced by her first husband, Jack Webb, and also starred her second husband, musician Bobby Troup, as Dr. Joe Early. She started her entertainment career as an actress, acting in 45 movies and TV shows, including 1956’s The Lady Can’t Help It with Jayne Mansfield and Tom Ewell (she appears to a drunk Tom Ewell early in the movie).

Today, though, I want to feature Julie London the jazz singer. She recorded 29 studio albums over a recording career that spanned from 1955 to 1969. Her first single, “Cry Me A River,” accompanied by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Brown on bass, was her most successful, reaching #9 on the Hot 100. That was the most chart success she had (her last single, “Like To Get To Know You,” reached #15 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1969), but her albums were reasonably successful, as much for their erotic (for the Fifties) album jackets as for her singing.

“Perfidia,” from Latin In A Satin Mood (1963)

“Black Coffee,” from Around Midnight (1960)

She retired from both acting and singing at 52, when Emergency! was cancelled. She suffered a stroke in 1995 and died in 2000, the year after Troup died, on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

Julie London, your Two For Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

Two For Tuesday: Julie London

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I think most of us know Julie London as Dixie McCall, RN on the TV show Emergency! in the Seventies. The show was produced by her first husband, Jack Webb, and also starred her second husband, musician Bobby Troup, as Dr. Joe Early. She started her entertainment career as an actress, acting in 45 movies and TV shows, including 1956’s The Lady Can’t Help It with Jayne Mansfield and Tom Ewell (she appears to a drunk Tom Ewell early in the movie).

Today, though, I want to feature Julie London the jazz singer. She recorded 29 studio albums over a recording career that spanned from 1955 to 1969. Her first single, “Cry Me A River,” accompanied by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Brown on bass, was her most successful, reaching #9 on the Hot 100. That was the most chart success she had (her last single, “Like To Get To Know You,” reached #15 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1969), but her albums were reasonably successful, as much for their erotic (for the Fifties) album jackets as for her singing.

“Perfidia,” from Latin In A Satin Mood (1963)

“Black Coffee,” from Around Midnight (1960)

She retired from both acting and singing at 52, when Emergency! was cancelled. She suffered a stroke in 1995 and died in 2000, the year after Troup died, on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

Julie London, your Two For Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

Gone With The Wind #socs, #jusjojan

Usually, the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is relatively easy: Linda gives us a word (or part of one) and we write about it. Today, she threw us a curve and asked us to pick the title of a movie and base the post on the title, not the word “title.”

Naturally, living in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, the first movie I thought of was Gone With The Wind, with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, based on the novel written by Atlantan Margaret Mitchell. The movie debuted at Loew’s Grand Theater down on Peachtree Street on December 15, 1939, and was attended by many of the cast members, but not the African American ones, such as Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel, who weren’t allowed in the theater because, you know, segregation.

312px-Poster_-_Gone_With_the_Wind_01
Source: Wikipedia, which says this is public domain

Margaret Mitchell wrote the book in a run-down apartment building she dubbed “The Dump,” because that’s what it was. The building is still standing, although there have been a few attempts at tearing it down, met with howls and protests by people who probably haven’t read the book. The most recent attempt to do away with the building resulted in part of it being knocked down until a judge told them they had to rebuild it, but by then people anxious for a chunk of history had stolen the original bricks. They tried to get them back, and actually did manage to get most of them.

GWTW is one long book. The only person I know who’s actually read it was my stepfather Tex’s sister Ann, who he claims read it in one sitting. That’s concentration. Or skimming, I don’t know. It’s also a long movie. Two friends of mine and I actually went to see it during the summer between eighth grade and high school. We had never been to a movie with an actual intermission. You put three 14-year-old boys (one of us was 15) in a movie that long, they’re going to horse around, of course of course. At one point in the movie, they’re sawing a guy’s leg off. One of my friends leans over and says “That guy’s name is Lamb. That’s where you get leg o’ lamb.” We almost got thrown out on a couple of occasions, but made it through to the end. Four hours of my life I’ll never get back…

In 1937, a year after the book was published, composer Allie Wrubel and lyricist Herb Magidson wrote a song called “Gone With The Wind.” It’s been done a number of times and is now a jazz standard. Wes Montgomery recorded a version on his album The Incredible Jazz Guitar, Ella Fitzgerald recorded a live version on her album Ella in Berlin (which includes her version of “Mack the Knife,” which one a Grammy despite the fact she couldn’t remember the words and scatted and made up her own words). This is Julie London’s version from 1955, which I chose because Barney Kessel is backing her on guitar (Ray Leatherwood is playing bass), and besides, it’s Julie London


I wrote this for two Linda Hill challenges: Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January, for which I don’t have the address of her entry because it’s only Friday and, although she’s organized, she’s not that organized. If I think of it, I’ll change the link to the right place. Sorry, Linda…

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BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I think it’s only appropriate that I apologize in advance for the earworms that no doubt will ensue after this battle.

Ah, bubblegum music. Gad, what an abomination. I thought that way when I was in grammar school and high school, but like many things that seemed gross when I was growing up, I have developed a perverse certain affection for it now. This was music aimed directly at people like me, kids in their “tweens” and early teens. Wikipedia tells us that the heyday of bubblegum was 1967 and 1972; I was 11 in 1967 and 16 in 1972. I was their target market.

One of the more successful bubblegum bands was The Ohio Express, not to be confused with The Ohio Players. Like so many bubblegum bands, OE was more a brand name; session musicians were the actual band. They had a couple of very popular records worldwide, the first of which was “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy,” which peaked at #4 in the US, #5 in the UK, #7 in Australia, and #1 in Canada, and earned a gold record a couple of months after the song debuted. A composite survey of the two Top 40 stations in Chicago, WLS and WCFL, puts it at #17 during the summer of 1968. Here’s their version, for reference purposes only; they aren’t combatants.

Now, on to the battle!

CONTESTANT #1: JULIE LONDON

Julie London, did a slow, bluesy version of the song that appeared on the 1997 album Ultra-Lounge: Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits On The Rocks. My guess it was done in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, but it could have been later.

CONTESTANT #2: BACCARA

I never heard of them before this evening, so I’ll just paste in the description from the video: “Baccara was a female vocal duo formed in 1977 by Spanish artists Mayte Mateos (February 7, 1951, Logroño) and María Mendiola (April 4, 1952, Madrid). The pair rapidly achieved international success with their debut single Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, which reached number one across much of Europe.” Given the disco beat and sound, this probably came out early in their career.

Now, it’s time to vote: Whose cuisine version of “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” reigns supreme? Julie London’s, or Baccara’s? Vote in the comments here or on the simulcast blog. Then when you finish doing that, how about visiting some of the other blogs doing Battles today as well?

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh (might not be doing a battle today)

Results next Sunday!