12 November 1920, Coalinga, near Fresno, California, USA. Although the birth date above is the one that has been accepted for some time, the alternative year of 1917 is given in the booklet accompanying the 1991 CD in the Capitol Records Collectors Series.
One of the most popular female singers of the 40s and 50s, while still at high school Stafford studied serious music with the intention of pursuing a career as a classical soprano. After five years of intensive work, she abandoned the idea and joined her two older sisters in their country music act, but later left to freelance on radio with the seven-man vocal group the Pied Pipers. In 1939, after appearing on radio with Tommy Dorsey, they reduced the group to a quartet and joined Dorsey permanently. A large part of their appeal was Staffords pure, almost academic tone, her distinctive vocal timbre and the complete lack of vibrato, which provided a rock-steady lead. While with Dorsey...
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