Jo Stafford

You might not know who Jo Stafford is, but she is one of the sweetest singers of the 1940’s. Her voice is amazing, and has such a calming appeal.

Jo Elizabeth Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008) was an American singer of traditional pop music and jazz standards whose career ran from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. Stafford was greatly admired for the purity of her voice and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era. She was also viewed as a pioneer of modern musical parody, having won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1961 (with husband Paul Weston) for their album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris. She was also the first woman to have a No 1 on the UK Singles Chart.

Stafford was born in Coalinga, California, to Grover Cleveland Stafford and Anna York Stafford, a distant cousin of World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York. Originally, she wanted to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child. However, because of the economic Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group, “The Stafford Sisters”, which performed on Los Angeles radio station KHJ.

In 1937 she worked behind the scenes with Fred Astaire on the soundtrack of A Damsel in Distress and created the arrangement and, with her sisters, the backing vocals for “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. She claimed that her arrangement had to be adapted as Astaire had difficulty with some of the syncopation, in her words: “The man with the syncopated shoes couldn’t do the syncopated notes”.

Her tenure with the USO, in which she gave countless performances for soldiers stationed overseas, acquired her the nickname “G.I. Jo.”

In 1950, she left Capitol for Columbia Records, later returning to Capitol in 1961. While at Columbia she was the first recording artist to sell 25 million records for that company. During her second stint at Capitol, Stafford also recorded for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise label. These albums were released between 1961 and 1964, and were mostly retrospective in nature. Stafford left the label when Sinatra sold it to Warner Brothers.

Jo Stafford died in Century City, California of congestive heart failure on July 16, 2008 at the age of 90.

You must hear her music. Just check out my playlist, I have tons of her songs on there. Have a great day!!

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  1. Hi Kori! My blog is still there and you can still visit! I’d love you too! Just trying a few things out and didn’t want people to see it “under construction” so to speak!! xx

  2. We’re on the same page Karen! Great minds think alike! Thanks for the sweet comments honey. I try to update the playlist all the time so check it out again. Kori xoxo

  3. Hey Diva! I tried to comment back on your blog, but it’s showing private now. Anyway to check you out anymore? Kori xoxo

  4. She is lovely and her voice is amazing. I’d never heard of her and I have to echo an earlier comment; I learn something every time I come to your blog. And that is my favorite thing ever, to continue to learn and discover! Great blog and I always look forward to your posts.

    I’d like to invite you to my blog giveaway at My 100th blog post giveaway. The drawing is Wednesday, the 16th and I’m hoping to have lots of entries. I’m always wanting to meet new blog friends and this is a great chance to do just that.

    Have a great Friday!!

  5. I just love the classiness of the women from the 40’s and 50’s…she just looks so beautiful – but natural…not like a VS model that teens look up to today.


  6. Stafford was a splendid singer, blessed with wonderful pipes and, more importantly, the knowledge of how to use them. I suppose my favorite record of hers is “Make Love To Me.”

    Another vocalist you might enjoy is Barbara Rosene, who performs both swing-era tunes and songs from the pre-swing ’20s and ’30s (think Ruth Etting and Anette Hanshaw). I just profiled her at my site, “Carole & Co.”

  7. I was just thinking about you when I got your message…I have Blondie Radar!

    I swear I was born 30-40 years too late! I love everything from the 40’s through the 60’s.

    Jo Stafford’s voice is incredible and I’m so glad that you introduced me to this amazing talent!

    Your playlist is fabulous sweet friend!

    Love and hugs,

  8. If someone could transport me back in time and asked what I wanted to be it would definitely be a female singer from the 1940’s. What a glamorous job they had. What would be more fantastic than that, I ask you. A divine voice, beautiful hair and stunning makeup. Heaven. Thanks for another beautiful post Kori xxx

  9. Jessica–you are too sweet honey! You have to check her out on ITUNES!

    Matty–thanks for stopping by as usual friend! Hope you have a great night!

    Colette–your welcome friend! You deserve tons of accolades! You rock!

    Stefanie–so glad to hear you love her like I do! I thought you might!

    Sorry to respond here friends, but I’m a little behind today~ Kori xoxo

  10. What a beauty! Thanks for your kind words on my blog, they made me smile. :) I love those MJ ornaments… Cheers to a wonderful weekend sweetie!


  11. What a gorgeous woman (I want her hairdo so much!), I am definitely go to look her up on Youtube tonight. Thank you for introducing me to this vintage songstress!

    Oodles of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  12. I just LOVE your blog. I learn something new everytime you post! Just last night at the dinner table, I was surprising my husband with little-known Grinch facts. Off to listen to new music (for me, anyway) on your playlist – thank you! :)

  13. I’m messing around at work getting my Blondie fix and don’t have speakers…BOO!

    I will come back to hear her when I get home. Jo Stafford was talented and gorgeous…thanks for another great post sweet friend!

    Love and hugs,

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