Jo Stafford

V-Disc Recordings: A Musical Contribution by America's Best for Our Armed Forces Overse

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Emerging as a solo performer in 1944 and then ranking second only to Dinah Shore as the most popular female singer of the decade, Jo Stafford was a particular favorite of American troops. So, it is appropriate that she contributed 20 tracks to the V-Disc program. Typically, she often sings of the romantic separations and reunions that were so much a part of the experience of World War II -- "Gee, It's Good to Hold You," "Baby Won't You Please Come Home," "I Remember You," "Yesterdays," "I'll Be Seeing You." The song selection is curious: many are tunes associated with other singers of the day, such as Peggy Lee's "I Didn't Know About You" and the Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters hit "Tallahassee," and there are also standards like "Blue Moon" and "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia." But Stafford sings her hit "That's For Me," as well as a couple of songs from her days with Tommy Dorsey -- "Manhattan Serenade" and "Yes, Indeed!" It would be interesting to know who the backing musicians are, since some of them solo effectively. It sounds like some of these tracks, notably the two Dorsey-associated numbers among others, are actually big band tracks on which Stafford or her former group, the Pied Pipers, were featured, rather than Stafford solo tracks per se. Nevertheless, this is one of the better single-disc releases in Collectors' Choice Music's V-Disc series, especially because there is relatively little Stafford in print on CD. (1-800-923-1122)

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