Videos: Jo Stafford


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There was a time in the late-1940s and early '50s when Jo Stafford was America's most popular female singer, eventually matched only by Ella Fitzgerald. The maternal warmth of Stafford's voice, her soulful tones and her relaxed sense of swing made her a favorite of white and black audiences. With the advent of TV in the 1950s, Stafford was given a live show in 1954 and her grace and take-charge charm easily won over audiences.

After listening yesterday to my favorite Stafford album, Swingin' Down Broadway (1958), I decided to nose around at YouTube to share the joy with you.

Here's Stafford with the Pied Pipers, circa 1944...

Here's Stafford singing Tomorrow Mountain, with a Paul Weston arrangement...

Here's Stafford with Patti Page in 1958...

Here's Stafford on her 1961 British show, with Weston arrangements (watch for the three-camera turns on Lullaby of Rhythm)...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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