Julie London – Listen for Barney Kessel’s Guitar Tone

On the first track of side one, focus on how rich the bottom end is on Barney Kessel’s guitar. The Tubey Magic on this side is off the charts. Some copies can be dry, but that is clearly not a problem on the best pressings.

Now compare the sound of that guitar — just the guitar, nothing else — you hear on a good original pressing to the sound of the same guitar on the awful Boxcar Heavy Remaster.

We think there is a very good chance you will be quite shocked.

Unsurprisingly, everything else is worse on the Boxcar record as well. It has no reason to exist. The CD is likely better.

So Natural

The naturalness of the presentation puts this album right at the top of best sounding female vocal albums of all time.

To take nothing away from her performance, which got better with every copy we played. Julie’s rendition of Cry Me a River may be definitive.

If only Ella Fitzgerald on Clap Hands got this kind of sound! As good as the best copies of that album are, this record takes the concept of intimate female vocals to an entirely new level.

Mono Versus Stereo

This is the kind of record that the mono cartridge owners of the world worship, with good reason: the sound is amazing. But you don’t need a mono cartridge to hear how good, in fact how much better, this copy sounds than the stereo pressing.

The recording is mono, which means that the stereo pressings are actually reprocessed into stereo. Not too surprisingly the sound is terrible.

Forgotten Sound

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These Liberty pressings are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

THIS is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made that sound like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There actually IS a CD of this album, and youtube videos of it too, but those of us with a good turntable could care less.

A Must Own Vocal Album

This Demo Disc Quality recording should be part of any serious Male and Female Vocal Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.


Side One

Say It Isn’t So 
It Never Entered My Mind
Easy Street 
S’ Wonderful 
No Moon at All 
Gone with the Wind

Side Two

Cry Me a River 
I Should Care 
I’m in the Mood for Love
I’m Glad There Is You 
Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man
I Love You

AMG Review

For a time, Julie London was as famous for her sexy album covers as for her singing. Her debut is her best, a set of fairly basic interpretations of standards in which she is accompanied tastefully by guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Ray Leatherwood. “Cry Me a River” from this album was her biggest hit, and her breathy versions of such numbers as “I Should Care,” “Say It Isn’t So,” “Easy Street,” and “Gone with the Wind” are quite haunting.

Java’s Bachelor Pad Review

Julie London once said of her vocal style, “It’s only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to a microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.”

Nothing could be more true of her debut album, Julie is Her Name. London, backed only by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass creates one of the purest, most subtle lounge albums of all times (not to mention one of the best vocal jazz albums ever). Her tormented version of “Cry Me A River” became her biggest hit and became the gold standard for all future versions of the song.

Born to a song-and-dance family, London grew up with music all around her. Although she decided to pursue the acting side of show business, she never lost her love of music. During her marriage to Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame), her love of jazz and going out to nightclubs grew. With a little prodding from her soon-to-be second husband Bobby Troup (who is famous for penning “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”), London took that leap from nightclub patron to nightclub performer.

In the liner notes to the Julie Is Her Name, London was referred to as the “the girl with the ‘come hither’ voice.” Add to that a little cheesecake on the front cover and London’s sultry image was complete. Produced by Troup, Julie Is Her Name pushed London into the musical spotlight. Although London kept recording into the late 60’s, nothing matched the beautiful simplicity and warmth of her first album.

Original Liner Notes

Julie London might best be described as the girl with the “come hither” voice. In this, her first album, Julie’s molten mezzo is handsomely set off by Barney Kessel’s guitar and Ray Leatherwood’s bass – a blending of three skills that adds up to an intimate, sleek, and sultry production. A performer who radiates charm and friendliness, Julie is a beautiful, piquant yet unassuming young woman who has flaxen hair, and eyes that are blue. These qualities are vocally evident in her furry singing style.

Her choice of numbers is exactly right – ranging from I LOVE YOU to CRY ME A RIVER, the latter being a lush, lachrymose item written especially for Julie by her childhood friend, Arthur Hamilton. CRY ME A RIVER, when heard by fellow members of the radio and music fraternity, created an instantaneous and enthusiastic reaction. As a result of this uniform response, LIBERTY released “CRY” as a single record, catapulting Julie to fame overnight.

You’ve seen Julie in some fine motion pictures. Some of the more recent ones include “The Great Man,” “Voice In The Mirror,” “Saddle The Wind,” “A Question Of Adultery,” “Wonderful Country,” “The Third Voice,” and “Night Of The Quarter Moon.” Bill Ballance


LIBERTY’S SPECTRA-SONIC-SOUND is a process which incorporates the use of an advance design of the famed Telefunken microphone in conjunction with Altec Lansing power amplifiers and Ampex Recorders. This combination, plus special microphoning and studio acoustics, has been utilized to reproduce a brilliant sound.