Discovering A Voice (Again) from Another Time and Place — The Beautiful Jo Stafford

The voice had presence and character, the sound of the vinyl record whispering it’s own background lullaby. And somewhere in my earliest memories I could almost imagine hearing the mellow, pure, touching voice of Jo Stafford — the lady the soldiers called G.I. Jo in World War II. I didn’t get to hear her until after World War II because I had not been thought of then. But I’m sure she sang on our radio in the kitchen while I was tottering around and getting to be a big girl in the 1950s.

When I heard her last night, that voice just took me back to another era. In fact, she had a number one hit the day my baby sister Katie was born.

So treat yourself to some music that will untighten those neck muscles and smooth out your brow. Here is G.I. Jo — the lovely Jo Stafford, who passed away at the age of 90. (1917 – 2008). Here are a couple of G.I. Jo songs, her lovely folk songs, and ending with a hymn as only she can sing it.

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4 thoughts on “Discovering A Voice (Again) from Another Time and Place — The Beautiful Jo Stafford

  1. Lovely. Thanks for much for posting these. My father absolutely adored her. I remember him playing “You Belong to Me” over and over and over…. Mom loved “Make Love to Me” and so did my grandmother. “Red River Valley” used to make my grandmother cry. My grandfather’s favorites were “Shrimp Boats Are A-comin'” and “Jambalaya.” She was VERY popular in our house when I was a kid. Gosh, her rendition of “Shenandoah” nearly brought me to tears. She had a perfect vibrato.

    I remember, too, her comedy routines with Paul Weston. She used to frequently sing off key (intentionally) and said it was VERY hard to do on purpose.

    Ahh, the memories.

    • Thanks, Jo Anne, there were so many wonderful songs I couldn’t include them all. I just had to try to get in a little variety. And a blog can only hold someone’s attention for just so long. I thought six songs were a good round number. I actually haven’t heard Shrimp Boat, yet, but have seen it listed. Her tone, purity, oh, and just everything, hit me so softly hard I had to find out what people thought of her. And what a long, brilliant life, and lovely throughout. I love making “discoveries” like this. And guess what. I couldn’t wait for you to check it out because I just KNEW you had to be familiar with this VOICE. See, I know you VEWY WELL, don’t I? LOL

  2. ” I couldn’t wait for you to check it out because I just KNEW you had to be familiar with this VOICE. See, I know you VEWY WELL, don’t I? LOL”

    Indeed you do! So well it’s scary sometimes. 🙂 After I moved to NYC, I discovered a friend had an LP of Jo and Paul doing songs from their comedy act. It was truly hilarious. I wonder if it’s ever been released on a CD. She really could do/sing anything…a true artist. Her daughter sounds quite a bit like Jo.

    And on the other side of the coin, did you see Idol this week? I thought the entire show was a disaster. I didn’t really like ANY of the performances. The deceased members of The Bee Gees must have been spinning in thieir graves over that dreadful version of “Stayin’ Alive” by Rayvon. Even Tyanna sounded awful…off pitch and pushing way too hard. For that matter, nearly all of them had pitch problems this week. The few that the judges liked left me cold. I can see them struggling to be at least a little positive. And using the save for Quentin??? What a joke. He’s just too over the top. On the rare occasions that he actually sings, he has a pretty good voice, but it’s totally overshadowed by his antics. This is the show’s worst season ever, IMO.

    End of rant.

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