Makin’ Whoopee – 1969

Julie London

London performs a standard with a big band

Julie London (1926-2000) was an actress who had an unexpected career as a torch singer.

She began appearing in films in 1944 and her singing skills were discovered while performing at a jazz club in 1955.

London recorded regularly during the next 14 years and while her simple delivery and quietly expressive interpretation of lyrics were appealing, it was her sexy album jackets that gained the most attention.

Married to songwriter-pianist Bobby Troup, London had a major hit with “Cry Me A River.”

Around the time that she recorded her final album, and three years before she and her husband became regulars on the television series Emergency, she performed “Makin’ Whoopee” on the Dick Cavett Show.

While usually accompanied by a small group or just a guitarist, this effective version has Julie London backed by an unseen big band.

-Scott Yanow