The Jo Stafford Collection 1939-62
Styles: Easy Listening, Pop
Catalogue Number: ACQCD7093
Jo Stafford was one of the most popular and successful female singers of the post-war era, the early years of her career encompassing WWII, and racked up a phenomenal run of approaching 100 hits between 1944 and 1959. This great-value 103-track 4-CD set is not, however, simply a hits package but provides an insightful trawl across the first quarter-century of a career that spanned five decades. It has been compiled by Geoff Wilding, former showbiz journalist and photographer for national newspapers in the UK, who was a personal friend of Jo Stafford and her almost equally illustrious arranger/conductor husband Paul Weston, and also includes an extensive booklet essay by him. Beginning with examples of her early recordings with vocal group The Pied Pipers, it moves on to feature performances with top bandleaders, singers and other artists of the day, including Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Frankie Laine, Gordon MacRae, Nelson Eddy, Johnny Mercer, Billy May, Ray Conniff, Mitch Miller, The Starlighters and others. It naturally primarily draws on her recordings for Capitol and Columbia, including a significant selection of her many hits, but also incorporates interesting and rarely heard material from her LPs. It’s a must for Jo’s many fans, put together by an observer with an informed appreciation of her remarkable talent.