Thursday, September 20, 2007

PUSSYCATS OF THE SUNSET STRIP--JULIE LONDON

julielondon

The ridiculously sultry and talented Julie London didn't even begin her singing career proper until after a short career in b-movies and a marriage to Jack Webb which produced two daughters. After their divorce, she began recording albums and was groomed (I suppose you'd say) and managed by the singer/songwriter Bobby Troup. Then they got married. And they had kids. And then Jack Webb hired them both to be in his TV show "Emergency", which doesn't sound so weird now but forty years ago was about as tois as a menage could get and not be in violation of a morals clause. .


Does that sound extreme? Well dig this. When I was a kid growing up in LA, there was a restaurant on the Sunset Strip called the "Cock and Bull"--an English pub sort of place where they served really good, rare, roast beef. (When the nice, aging black guy in the big white hat cut your slice for you, he'd ask, "Old Jews?" Eventually we realized he was offering au jus...) Oftentimes we'd go there on a Sunday and there would be Jack Webb, sitting at the bar drinking and smoking. (I recognized him from Dragnet, of course. An important detail that for some reason caught my youthful eyes: he had two packs of cigarettes open on the bar. One regular and one menthol.) Anyway one day the Troup's were there dining with Webb--and this absolutely fascinated and scandalized my parents, though I had no real understanding of why. Forgive them, they grew up in the Bronx where couples don't divorce much less socialize with each other if the woman has been with each of the...you know what I'm saying.In any event, even though "Emergency" is probably what most people know Julie London from, I first got hip to her and Troup watching the afternoon game show "Tattletales"--every afternoon at three pm. Bert Convy was the host and it was all married couples. Jack Carter and his wife Dixie were regulars. So were Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce. But for the life of me I can't remember the format of the game or how it worked. I just remember thinking that Julie London looked a hell of a lot hotter than those other wives.


Below is, of course, from Frank Tashlin's "The Girl Can't Help It"--the drunk hallucinating about Julie is the great and mostly forgotten Tom Ewell. And there's another Julie clip that I've added--a ColorSonics (not Scopitone) short of Julie singing "Daddy"--joined by some other lovely pussycats of the Sunset Strip whose names are lost to history (unless somebody reading this recognizes their mother...) "Daddy" was written by Bobby Troup long before he met London--in fact he was a college freshman in the early forties when the song became his first hit. Troup died in 1999. Julie followed him a year later.





1 comment:

Campaspe said...

I saw her in Delmer Daves' The Red House and she was just about the best thing in the movie, which is REALLY saying something considering the stars were Edward G. Robinson and Judith Anderson. She was the high-school tart-tease to end 'em all. She had a marvelous speaking voice too.