Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'd work my body to the grave for you

139. Judy Henske - "Till The Real Thing Comes Along" (High Flying Bird, Elektra, 1964)

Judy Henske studied under comedy legend Lenny Bruce, has been dubbed Queen of the Beatniks, is one of Nick Cave's biggest influences, and after a relationship with Woody Allen, largely inspired the title character in Annie Hall, but you've never heard of her. You would swear by listening to her lounge singer voice that she's capable of going a full four minutes without a single breath. Warbling a baritone and whiskey-hoarse version "Wade in the Water," she even makes god sound dangerous - and a little bit sexy, not gonna lie. Those babies dressed in red? Sexy babies? I don't know, decide for yourself. Here's Judy singing "Wade in the Water" on the 1960s show Hootenanny Circus (1960s FTW):

And then for the penultimate win, in my opinion one of the greatest lounge songs ever to be written. The payoff comes at the end, when you're not quite sure whether or not the sound coming out of her voice is pleasant, or terrifying:

Judy will be playing a one-night-only show at the Largo cafe in Los Angeles on Saturday called JUDY HENSKE: NOW WITH BOOZE! and I have never wanted to go to California so badly in my life.

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