At that age I was unaware of Stafford's earlier, usually jazzier, work, and her tour de force comedy albums with her husband, Paul Weston, issued under the names Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, were several years in the future, but she was already one of my favorite singers. My appreciation of her remarkable voice and impeccable phrasing has only grown since then, and her comedic talent proved equal to her best serious work. Fans of "The Kentucky Fried Movie" will probably recall her flawlessly flawed send-up of "The Carioca", originally from one of the Jonathan and Darlene albums, on the soundtrack of that film.
Only recently did I discover that she and her sisters dubbed the voices of the Madrigal singers who performed Gershwin's "Nice Work if You Can Get It" in the 1937 film "Damsel In Distress." She was already an accomplished singer at the age of nineteen, and only got better.
Jo Stafford died last Wednesday, July 16, in Century City, California, at the age of 90. She leaves one of the most remarkable collections of work produced by any pop singer of the 20th century.
You Belong to All