Jo Stafford

The Two of Us

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This British budget collection isn't quite what it claims, as you will be aware if you examine the coded asterisks and circles on the back cover that indicate which tracks are actually duets between Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae, and which are solo tracks by one or the other. Actually, you won't know even then, since "Ting-A-Ling" and "The Little Old Church Near Leicester," listed as Stafford performances, are actually by MacRae, and "Smiles," listed as a duo track, actually features only Stafford. (That is, it features Stafford with the Dave Lambert Vocal Choir, a tenor member of which does some furious scatting, but it does not feature MacRae.) All told, 12 of the 25 tracks are Stafford solo numbers, six are MacRae recordings, and only seven are duets. Of those seven, six are among the ten chart records the two scored between 1948 and 1950, but two of their biggest hits, the chart-topping "My Darling, My Darling" and the Top Five "Whispering Hope," are not here. Instead of being a thorough collection of Stafford/MacRae hits and highlights, this album should be thought of as a hodgepodge of late-'40s and 1950 recordings by the two, separately and together. There are some interesting performances, especially when Stafford, an accomplished group singer, collaborates with the Lambert group or the Starlighters, sometimes a cappella, and the religious tracks have a plain sincerity. But the compilation as a whole is lacking.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:27
3 2:36
4 2:29
5 2:58
6 2:14
7 3:04
8 3:05
9 2:47
10 2:30
11 2:26
12 2:44
13 2:04
14 3:19
15 2:13
16 2:41
18 3:04
19 2:29
22 2:57
23 3:14
24 2:22
blue highlight denotes track pick