A Tribute to Julie London
Tom Warrington – bass
1. Gone With The Wind
4:17 (Allie Wrubel-Gilbert Magidson) Bourne Co.-ascap
2. What Is This Thing Called Love
3:24 (Cole Porter) ascap
3. How Long Has This Been Going On
4:34 (George & Ira Gershwin) New World Music-ascap
4. No Moon At All
3:02 (Cole Porter) ascap
5. I Love You
3:03 (Cole Porter) ascap
6. Blue Moon
5:04 (Richard Rogers-Lorenz Hart) Robbins Music Corp.-ascap
7. Easy Street
2:34 (Alan R. Jones) ascap
8. Cry Me A River
4:12 (Arthur Hamilton) ascap
9. I’m In The Mood For Love
3:08 (McHugh-Fields) ascap
4:47 (Laura Taylor-Joe Lano) Staying Power Publishing Co., Inc.-bmi
11. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else
2:12 (Isham Jones-Gus Kahn) ascap
12. I’m Glad There Is You
4:53 (Paul Madeira-Jimmy Dorsey) ascap
13. Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man Of Mine
2:53 (G. & I. Gershwin) New World Music-ascap
14. ‘S Wonderful
3:48 (G. & I. Gershwin) New World Music-ascap
From tiny acorns, mighty oaks may grow. Such might describe this project, to feature Laura Taylor in renditions of some of the beautiful songs done in such a sensual style by Julie London. The acorn, or thought, was dropped as a suggestion, that Laura’s voice and style (not to mention looks!) might complement the styling which caused so many college boys to swoon in the 50’s and 60’s (My older brother had the albums: Julie Is Her Name, Vol 1, with Barney Kessel-guitar, Ray Leatherwood-bass, 1955; Julie Is Her Name, Vol 2, with Howard Roberts-guitar, Red Mitchell-bass, 1958, both by Liberty Records). And so the memories of Blue Moon, S ‘Wonderful, Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine, and the incomparable version of Cry Me a River flashed into warm recollections of October nights on campus and fireside listening sessions on coveted 33-rpm LPs (which had only appeared in 1951).
Laura’s notable collaborations with close friend and very talented guitarist Joe Lano (see: Mountain Greenery, Songs of the Winter Season, etc.) prompted an admirer, Doctor Howard Hoffman, to suggest that the Julie London/Barney Kessel recordings would be a natural for the two of them. Howard, like many others, was under the impression that Kessel was the only guitarist on these two famous recordings. Kessel was, in fact, guitarist on Julie is Her Name, Vol. 1, which included Cry Me a River, but the very talented (though perhaps lesser known) Howard Roberts did the Julie is Her Name, Vol. 2, recording that, according to Joe, had many guitarists rushing to emulate what Roberts had done. Laura and Joe began listening to those wonderful recordings to decide whether to further pursue the idea. But the conclusion was easy-the songs fabulous and still timely, and the fit was right. Typical of their collaborations, Joe and Laura next met with guitar, piano, voice, pencils and score sheets to discuss song selection, key choices and arrangement concepts. Julie made so many fabulous recordings that priorities had to be established. In addition to Julie’s most famous recording, Cry Me a River, Laura and Joe needed to narrow the choices to songs which they could put their own signature on without compromising the original intent of the London-guitar-bass-renditions.
Laura and Joe started to work their usual magic! Some songs were done closely adhering to the original, while others received an entirely different approach. Joe suggested a bossa nova style for Gone With the Wind, a rhythm unknown in the U .S. in the 50’s and Laura brought her bossa concept of I’m Glad There is You to the mix, based on an arrangement she conceived while playing and singing at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. To my knowledge, I’m in the Mood for Love has never been recorded as a waltz, another concept Joe and Laura developed in the living room that eventful day. Each song, however, was approached with a respect for Julie’s original interpretation and the warmth and intimacy she created. And from the acorn, mighty oaks may grow!
Two more ingredients were needed to augment this project-the talents of recording engineer T-Bone Demman and his Sonsong’s Studio, where Joe and Laura had recorded two previous and wonderful CDs (see paragraph 2 above)-and one more musician. The instrumentation of Volumes 1 & 2 of Julie is Her Name was the same for both sessions- voice-guitar-bass. The Los Angeles-based Tom Warrington was the one to fill the bass chair. Tom’s articulate yet warm, full sound was the perfect complement to complete the project.
Laura’s feelings for Julie London as a singer are best expressed in the lyric Laura wrote for the original song:
Julie is the Song
Her voice lust lingers like a gentle breeze.
That fills your heart with wistful memories,
A fireplace in June… a most romantic tune,
The voice, the song, the sultry attitude,
the way her music puts you in the mood.
You stop and reminisce…the glance, the touch, the kiss,
She’s got to love one man till she dies,
Julie can make a river cry.
There’s no moon at all…unless it’s blue,
She’ll take you to a place where lovers go.
The tears and smiles only lovers know,
So close your eyes and dream,
Or ride on a moonbeam.
Julie….she’s the song.
No verses of the songs were used in the original London recordings. Laura enjoys the sentiment of verses and the mood they set for the chorus, so she added verses on the following songs: I’m Glad There is You–“Said I many times, love is illusion, a feeling result of confusion! With knowing smile, and blase sigh, a cynical so-and-so was I. I felt so sure, so positive, so utterly unchangingly certain, that I never was aware of love and you, and I.” (special note by Laura-In the verse written by Paul Madeira and Jimmy Dorsey, a whole-tone scale is used in conjunction with the lyric “A cynical so and-so was I.” A particularly hip usage, comments Laura, since this was written in 1941, considering that whole-tone scales by themselves are esoteric-and somewhat cynical); Blue Moon-“Once upon a time, before I took up smiling, I hated the moonlight. Shadows of the night that poets find beguiling, seemed flat as the moonlight. With no one to stay up for, I went to sleep at ten. Life was a bitter cup for, the saddest of girls, but, then”; S Wonderful-“Life has just begun, Jack has your divine appeal. You can never guess, all the love I feel. From now on Mister, I insist, for me no other men exist” (the first of two verses).
- Produced by Laura Taylor for Staying Power Records
- Executive Producer: Dr. David Mulkey for Staying Power Records
- Recording Engineer: T-Bone Demman
- Recording Studio: Sonsongs Studio, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Mixed by: T-Bone, Laura Taylor, Joe Lano
- Mastered by: T-Bone Demman
- Cover Photograph: Evon Shannan, New View Photography
- Cover Graphics: David Overman
- Liner Notes: David Mulkey, MD
©2000 Staying Power Records, 3124 Sonata Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89121 • fax: 702-734-0984 • contact via email
This project is dedicated to the memory of Julie London (Sept. 26, 1926 – Oct. 18, 2000) who unfortunately passed away during the final stages of production. May she rest in peace….
In a continuing effort to give something worth remembering, I humbly thank David, Joe, Tom, and T-Bone for their love, friendship, inspiration and talent in making this project possible….Laura
Special thanks to Dr. Loren Little, Dr. Howard Hoffman, Johnny Pate, KUNV Radio and the Las Vegas Jazz Society.