©  Lee Bermejo

A few weeks back…

…I was commiserating with Paul “Bish” Bishop* on twitter about the lost art of the “torch song”. Specifically we were pining for Julie London … the quintessential torch singer.

To that point, I hadn’t really thought about the decline of the torch singing sub-genre … though there are some folks in the New Guard that occasion us with a sultry, bluesy number (Stacy Kent, Rene Olstead, Jessica Molaskey come to mind) nobody really makes a living at the sensual art of the torch song any more.

Once there were many…

Back in a different and glorious time Julie was joined by a cadre of women that could hurt you and make you like it with the way they sang about unrequited love. Kay Starr, Dorothy Dandridge, Sarah Vaughan, Ella, Rose, Eydie, Billie … there were many that spent quality time torching the men of the era in the worst-best way.

But Julie was the best…

Julie London was a pure play — the dictionary definition of a torch singer. She could deliver the beautiful-terrible weave of conflicted feelings that are essential … the stock and trade of the torch singer’s venue. How could this cool, tall blonde bombshell look so good, sing so sad, be so sexy … she made you want to hurt!

Even when pushing an upbeat song, her sultry voice and the blue halo nestled around Ms London’s vocals always brings a bit of a noir edge … that cuts — just a bit — into your heart.

Get Torched!

Do yourself a favor and live the love and pain that is torch music … snag a copy of the CD or download Very Best of Julie London.  It’s an incredible deal at $17 and delivers ALL of Julie’s classic fare … “Cry Me A River”, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”, “You and the Night and the Music”, “Lover Man”, “Girl Talk”, “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” and forty four more (yup that’s 50 songs total) very well produced tracks that both define “torch singing”, and represent well Julie’s penchant for the genre.

This is a cornerstone compilation that spans the tenderloin of Julie’s career … perfect for those dark winter nights when you want to put a fire in the fire place and soak your psyche in sultry, sexy songs (and scotch whiskey) … not that I do that often — really, why are you laughing!

* Paul is a screen writer and author of some very cool gritty, “noir-ish” police procedural stories … and quite a standards/lounge music aficionado. Check him out at Bish’s Beat.