Jo Stafford

You Belong to Me [Pair]

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In the decade between the end of World War II and the beginning of the rock era, Jo Stafford was the most popular female singer in the U.S. She got a crack at the top film and theater songs, such as "Long Ago (And Far Away)," the Jerome Kern-Ira Gershwin theme from Cover Girl, and "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific (both included here), plus her pick of the best Tin Pan Alley material. Her specialty was string-filled melodic ballads, which she rendered with warmth and sincerity. This discount-priced compilation contains 16 tracks, 13 of them making up about half of Stafford's Top Ten hits, including the chart toppers "You Belong to Me" and "Make Love to Me!" The packaging is skimpy, the mastering is nothing special (scratchy enough to be from an LP), and the notation that this is a "double play compact disc" should be ignored -- at 47 minutes, it's barely a single-play CD. Still, these are the original recordings, and if you can find this for a low price -- say, under $10 -- and/or if the Capitol Collectors Series and Spotlight On discs aren't in the bin, this disc makes a reasonable sampling of Stafford's recordings.

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