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Julie London – In Person: Julie London At The Americana (1964)

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Julie London – In Person: Julie London At The Americana (1964)

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Side 1:
01) Opening - Lonesome Road
02) Send For Me
03) My Baby Just Cares For Me
04) The Trolley Song
05) Daddy
06) Medley

Side 2:
01) Kansas City
02) Bye Bye Blackbird
03) By Myself
04) I Love Paris
05) Gotta Move
06) Cry Me A River
07) The Man That Got Away - Closing
Julie London - Vocals Don Bagley - Arranger, Conductor

 

Well into her mid-thirties, Julie London was also well past her commercial prime when she cut this live album for release in 1964. Actually, she had mounted something of a comeback the previous year with the LPs The End of the World and The Wonderful World of Julie London, both of which made the charts for her after a gap of six years from her 1955-1957 commercial heyday, but Julie London, released earlier in 1964, had not charted. London's film work was also at a low ebb; she had not appeared onscreen since 1961's The George Raft Story. But this was all the more reason to emphasize the personal appearance aspect of her career by recording a live album. Cut at the Royal Box of the Americana Hotel in New York City, this LP might as well have come from Las Vegas, since it was a glitzy affair that surrounded the star with a big band and a bevy of backup singers. She borrowed from Judy Garland for "The Trolley Song" (a number largely taken over by the choral accompaniment) and "The Man That Got Away," while her husband Bobby Troup provided his 1941 hit "Daddy" and 1948's "Baby, Baby All the Time," the latter in a medley with "Basin Street Blues" and "St. Louis Woman." London was at her best in the sexy, playful "Daddy," which brought out her personality. One could only imagine that there was a stage show to accompany these numbers that would have made the performance even more compelling, but London was still able to convey her breathy, bluesy charm. By 1964, that charm was coming to seem adult more in the sense of "aging" rather than "provocative," not only because of the singer's advancing years but because she, like everyone in her area of musical entertainment, was being marginalized by the Beatles and their ilk. So, Julie London in Person at the Americana seemed somewhat old-fashioned even on the day it was released. ---William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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