Personnel includes: Jo Stafford, Nat "King" Cole, Gordon MacRae, Johnny Mercer (vocals); Paul Weston (arranger).
Compilation producers: Ron Furmanek, Bob Furmanek.
Recorded between 1943 and 1950. Includes liner notes by Tom Colborn and Bob Furmanek.
Personnel: Jo Stafford (vocals).
Recording information: 10/15/1943-05/17/1950.
Jo Stafford first appeared on the scene as one of Tommy Dorsey's original Pied Pipers. One can already hear her distinctive voice emerging out of the four-part harmony backing the young Sinatra on his classic 1941 version of "Stardust." Stafford soon embarked on her own solo career, signing with Johnny Mercer's new Capitol label, but not before marrying one of Dorsey's arrangers, Paul Weston. Her marriage to Weston began a personal and professional partnership that lasted for over 50 years.
Considered the "father" of mood music, Weston provided a seamless orchestral backing for Stafford's note-perfect, hymn-like interpretations. 1943's "Long Ago (And Far Away)" is typical as it glides into an elevated musical realm just a little bit removed from this world. The singer didn't lack humor as her many parodies attest. (See her C&W hoot "Tim-tayshun" for a prime example.) Still, whether it was her Midwestern Protestant background or classical training, Stafford (and Weston) never faltered in this modest, striving quest for sheer beauty. Her versions of Rodger's & Hammerstein's "Some Enchanted Evening" and Weston's own "No Other Love," recorded near the end of her tenure at Capitol, achieve an emotional serenity rare in popular music.