To many late Boomers and early X’ers, she was little more than the middle-aged ER nurse in Emergency, the two-dimensional Jack Webb procedural from the 70’s. But to their parents, she was something else altogether.
Throughout the late 40’s and 50’s she was the leggy, smoky actress/singer who doubled as the better half of jazz pianist and actor, Bobby Troup, the man history’d remember as the composer of the timeless classic (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66. And to try to image how Troup’s wife’s career might have played out in a different, fairer world, think of a slightly less talented Ann-Margret…only a little dirtier.
OK, a lot dirtier. Because the woman who first sang today’s lost nugget wasn’t just sultry, she was…(clear my throat) sexy. And not just garden-variety sexy, either. No, she was Stupefyin’ Jones-sexy. As I once wrote in a profile of her: “The woman wasn’t just wink-wink, nudge-nudge sexy. She was drain-the-bank-account sexy.”
And though, for some reason, as alluring a songstress as she may have been, and as many jazz albums she recorded in her day, for some reason she never bothered to issue a full-blown Christmas one. She did, however, record and release two cooing originals for the season, my favorite of which is the little-known, come-hither fireside ballad below.
So with that, please enjoy today’s Song of the Season: the late, great Julie London’s steamy little 1957 strand of well-placed tinsel, I’d Like You for Christmas.