Song of the Day: Julie London, “Cry Me a River”

“Cry Me a River” is a popular torch song written by Arthur Hamilton. It was first published in 1953 and, according to many sources, originated the popular title idiom. Ella Fitzgerald was originally meant to debut the song as part of the score for the 1955 film Pete Kelly’s Blues. However, when the song was dropped from the movie, it was Julie London who debuted it, including it on her debut LP, Julie Is Her Name.

London was a shy, introverted singer who once described her voice as “only a thimbleful of a voice and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of over-smoked voice and it automatically sounds intimate.” This recording of “Cry Me a River,” which became her signature song, finds her accompanied tastefully by only guitar and bass and remains one of the most seductive songs to listen to in the still of the night.

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