63. Cry Me a River – Julie London – 1955





WikipediaCry Me a River” is a popular American torch song, written by Arthur Hamilton and first published in 1953, and made famous in the version by Julie London, 1955. A jazzy blues ballad, “Cry Me a River” was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1920s-set film, Pete Kelly’s Blues (released 1955), but the song was dropped. Fitzgerald first released a recording of the song on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961. The song’s first release was by actress/singer Julie London in 1955, backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. A performance of the song by London in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It helped to make it a bestseller (reaching nr. 9 on US and nr. 22 on UK charts). London’s recording was later featured in the soundtracks for the movies Passion of Mind (2000), and V for Vendetta (2005).


  • London began singing under the name Gayle Peck in public in her teens before appearing in a film. She was discovered by talent agent Sue Carol, while working as an elevator operator.
  • London’s most famous single, “Cry Me a River“, was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Bobby Troup. The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955.
  • Shirley Bassey recorded the song on her album The Fabulous Shirley Bassey (1959).
  • London later starred in the TV medical drama Emergency! (1972–1979), co-starring her real-life husband, Bobby Troup, and produced by her ex-husband, Jack Webb, in which she played the female lead role of nurse Dixie McCall.
  • London released 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950s and 1960s.



2 responses »

  1. I fucking love this! I only knew the Shirley Bassey version which is a bit hard to buy into because her voice is so confident, but this feels like you wandered in on her sort of rehearsing the song and almost ad libbing the vocals. Sounds so sincere, delicate. Love it

  2. I’m familiar with the Shirley Bassey version too. This is such a different feel. This really does suit the lyrics better. Not that I dislike Shirley’s version, but this is so good.

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