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Gayle Pecks parents were vaudevilleartists. When she was 14, they settled in Los Angeles. Soon after, she started to act in films. During the Second World War , she was a popular pin-up at the American soldiers.
In 1947 she married actor, Director and producer Jack Webb. The couple had two daughters. They divorced in 1954. When she learned jazz pianist Bobby Troup , with whom she would marry in 1959. They had a daughter and twin sons. They remained together until Troup's death in 1999.
Troup accompanied her at her first recording, a session for Bethlehem Records in 1955 in which they inzong four songs. Bobby Troup earned her a contract with the newly founded Liberty Records. The single "Cry Me A River" of 1955 was the first big hit for that record label. Julie sang the song in the film The Girl Can't Help It, withJayne Mansfield in the lead role. The song was written by Arthur Hamilton, with whom she still had sat together in high school .
Julie London had a low, sultry, smoky voice, with a limited range and especially suited for blues and ballads; the kind of songs that in English is called torch songs . She sang as a crooner, close to the microphone what an intimate and sensual effect. They would release a total of 32 albums on Liberty, her last in 1969; sometimes accompanied by a large Orchestra with strings, then again with a small jazz combo. Her last recording was "My Funny Valentine" for the soundtrack of the 1981 filmSharky's Machine .
Other famous songs from her are "Meaning of the Blues", which she sang in the film The Great Man (1957); "Daddy" (a song by Bobby Troup); "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" by Cole Porter, and Desafinado (Slightly out of Tune) by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Julie London played in more than 20 films. Her main role was in the western Man of the West (1958), in which she played the female lead. They also played several guest roles in television series and from 1972 she played the role of a nurse in the series Emergency!; also her husband Bobby Troup was given a role in that series, produced by Julies ex-husband Jack Webb.
Julie London was a heavy smoke star and in 1995 she was awarded a stroke. Her health deteriorated and she died in 2000 was in a hospital in Encino.
- Julie Is Her Name (1955, with Barney Kessel (guitar) and Ray Leatherwood (bass))
- Lonely Girl (1956, with Al Viola (guitar))
- Calendar Girl (1956)
- About the Blues (1957, with the Orchestra of Russ Garcia)
- Make Love To Me (1957, with Orchestra conducted by Russ Garcia)
- Julie (1958, with the Orchestra of Jimmy Rowles)
- Julie Is Her Name – Vol. II (1958, with Howard Roberts (guitar) and Red Mitchell (bass))
- London By Night (1958)
- London After Dark (1959)
- Swing Me An Old Song (1959)
- Your Number Please (1959, with Orchestra conducted by André Previn)
- Julie... At Home (1960. Recorded at her home, with Orchestra conducted by Jimmy Rowles)
- Around Midnight (1960)
- Send For Me (1961)
- Whatever Julie Wants (1961)
- Sophisticated Lady (1962)
- Love Letters (1962)
- Love On The Rocks (1962)
- Latin In A Satin Mood (1963)
- The End Of The World (1963)
- The Wonderful World of Julie London (1963)
- Julie London (1964)
- Julie London in Person at the Americana (1964)
- Our Fair Lady (1965)
- Feelin' Good (1965)
- By Myself (1965, an exclusive LP for the Columbia Record Club)
- All Through The Night (1965, an album of Cole Portersongs and Bud Shank with the Quintet)
- For The Night People (1966)
- Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast (1967)
- With Body And Soul (1967)
- Easy Does It (1968)
- Yummy Yummy Yummy (1969)