Jo Stafford

~ Person


Known by American GI's as "GI Jo" during World War II.

Annotation last modified on 2006-03-25 22:54 .

Also performs as: Darlene Edwards (persona portrayed by Jo Stafford)


Jo Elizabeth Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008) was an American traditional pop music singer and occasional actress, whose career spanned five decades from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. Admired for the purity of her voice, she originally underwent classical training to become an opera singer before following a career in popular music, and by 1955 had achieved more worldwide record sales than any other female artist. Her 1952 song "You Belong to Me" topped the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, the record becoming the first by a female artist to reach number one on the U.K. Singles Chart.

Born in Coalinga, California, Stafford made her first musical appearance at age twelve. While still at high school she joined her two older sisters to form a vocal trio named The Stafford Sisters, who found moderate success on radio and in film. In 1938, while the sisters were part of the cast of Twentieth Century Fox's production of Alexander's Ragtime Band, Stafford met the future members of The Pied Pipers and became the group's lead singer. Bandleader Tommy Dorsey hired them in 1939 to perform back-up vocals for his orchestra.

In addition to her recordings with the Pied Pipers, Stafford featured in solo performances for Dorsey. After leaving the group in 1944, she recorded a series of pop standards for Capitol Records and Columbia Records. Many of her recordings were backed by the orchestra of Paul Weston. She also performed duets with Gordon MacRae and Frankie Laine. Her work with the United Service Organizations (USO) giving concerts for soldiers during World War II earned her the nickname "G.I. Jo". Starting in 1945, Stafford was a regular host of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) radio series The Chesterfield Supper Club and later appeared in television specials—including two series called The Jo Stafford Show, in 1954 in the U.S. and in 1961 in the U.K.

Stafford married twice: first in 1937 to musician John Huddleston (the couple divorced in 1943); then in 1952 to Paul Weston, with whom she had two children. She and Weston developed a comedy routine in which they assumed the identity of an incompetent lounge act named Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, parodying well-known songs. The act proved popular at parties and among the wider public when the couple released an album as the Edwardses in 1957. In 1961, the album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris won Stafford her only Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, and was the first commercially successful parody album. Stafford largely retired as a performer in the mid-1960s, but continued in the music business. She had a brief resurgence in popularity in the late 1970s when she recorded a cover of the Bee Gees hit, "Stayin' Alive" as Darlene Edwards. In the 1990s, she began re-releasing some of her material through Corinthian Records, a label founded by Weston. She died in 2008 in Century City, Los Angeles, and is interred with Weston at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Her work in radio, television and music is recognized by three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
A Time to Remember: 1946 Various Artists 1
Back to the Fifties: The Golden Hits Various Artists 1
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy: Music of the War Years, Vol. II Various Artists 1
Cat Songs Various Artists 1
Christmas Cocktails Various Artists 1
Christmas Through the Years Various Artists 1
Classic Memories Volume 1 Various Artists 1
Coca-Cola Weihnachtshits Various Artists 1
Crooners & Divas Various Artists 1
De Pre Historie: Muziek uit de oorlogsjaren '40-'45 Various Artists 1
Elite Jazz Various Artists 1
Folk Song America: A 20th Century Revival I Various Artists 1
Fröhliche Weihnachten (Exclusiv 333 050) Various Artists 1
Golden Christmas Oldies Various Artists 1
Golden Hits of 1951 Various Artists 1
Hits of '52: Here in My Heart Various Artists 1
Hollywood Hit Parade Various Artists 1
I Remember You Various Artists 1
Jazzowanki Wyciszanki Various Artists 1
Jukebox Hits of 1950 Various Artists 1
Legends of the Century Various Artists 1
Memories Are Made of Hits Various Artists 1
Mob Hits II: More Music from the Great Mob Movies Various Artists 1
Mother's Memories Various Artists 1
New York Collection, 1950 Various Artists 1
New York Collection, 1954 Various Artists 1
Noel Jazz Various Artists 1
Noël Jazz - Les Plus Beaux Airs de Noël par les plus grands artistes Various Artists 1
Radio Hits Volume 2 - CD 3 Various Artists 1
Red, Hot and Blue Cole Porter 1
Sentimental Journey Various Artists 1
Sentimental Journey, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
Setting the Mood: First Course Various Artists 1
Singers & Songwriters: Songwriters Various Artists 1
Songs of Joy Various Artists 1
Songs That Won The War Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: A Salute to the Stagedoor Canteen Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: A Wing and a Prayer Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of VE Day Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: Rosie the Riveter Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: Something to Remember You By Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: Swing Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: Swing Again, Yes Indeed! Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: The Hollywood Canteen Various Artists 1
Songs That Won the War: The Home Front Various Artists 1
The Fabulous Fifties Various Artists 1
The Fabulous Fifties Various Artists 1
The Fifties Complete, Volume 3 Various Artists 1
The Greatest Female Singers Collection Various Artists 1
The Magic of Christmas Various Artists 1
These Were Our Songs: Musical Memories of the War Years Various Artists 1
They're Playing Our Song: Great Romantic Standards Various Artists 1
They’re Playing Our Song Volume 3 Various Artists 1
This Is My Song Various Artists 1
Those Wonderful Years Various Artists 1
Torch Songs [Louisiana Red Hot] Various Artists 1
With a Song in My Heart Various Artists 1

Album + Compilation + DJ-mix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2012 Saint Etienne Presents Songs for the Lyons Cornerhouse Saint Etienne 1

Album + Compilation + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2013 The Woody Allen Experience Various Artists 5 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1961 West Side Story (1961 film cast) Leonard Bernstein 12
1990 The Last Picture Show Various Artists 1
1991 Bugsy Ennio Morricone 2
1992 Guys and Dolls Various Artists 1
1992 Let Him Have It Michael Kamen 1
2010 A Single Man Abel Korzeniowski 2
2010 Youth In Revolt Various Artists 1
2012 The Master: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Jonny Greenwood 2
2015 Carol: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Carter Burwell 1
2016 I Saw the Light Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Various Artists 1
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Soundtrack Highlights Various Artists 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1942 A Boy in Khaki, a Girl in Lace / In the Blue of Evening Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2008 EMI Holidays Various Artists 1

Other + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Time Life - The Fabulous Fifties Collection Various Artists 1
2009 Britain’s First Number Ones: 1945 - 1952 Various Artists 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Hollywood Angels - Soft Lights, Sweet Christmas Various Artists 1
2006 The Original Divas Box Set Various Artists 1
I Love Music 1950-1954 Various Artists 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2008 Retro Americano Various Artists 1
2013 Autour De Minuit #03 Various Artists 1

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