Jo Stafford, c. July 1946
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb
|Birth name||Jo Elizabeth Stafford|
November 12, 1917|
Coalinga, California, US
|Died||July 16, 2008
Century City, Los Angeles, California, US
|Years active||1930s–1977 (until 1944, as part of vocal groups)|
|Labels||Capitol, Columbia, Dot, Corinthian|
|Website||Jo Stafford bio presented by Corinthian Records|
Jo Elizabeth Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008) was an American singer of traditional pop music and occasional actress, whose career spanned five decades from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. Admired for the purity of her voice, she was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era. Her 1952 song "You Belong to Me" topped the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, and made her the first woman to have a No. 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart. She was a 1961 Grammy Award winner for an album of comedic interpretations of popular songs produced with her second husband, Paul Weston.
Born in Coalinga, California, Stafford made her first musical appearance at age twelve. After graduating high school she joined her two older sisters to form a vocal trio named The Stafford Sisters, who enjoyed moderate success on radio and in film. In 1938, while the sisters were part of the cast of Twentieth Century Fox's production of Alexander's Ragtime Band, Stafford met the future members of The Pied Pipers and became the group's lead singer. Bandleader Tommy Dorsey hired them in 1939 to perform backup vocals for his orchestra.
In addition to her recordings with the Pied Pipers, Stafford featured in solo performances for Dorsey. After leaving the group in 1944 she recorded a series of pop standards for Capitol Records and Columbia Records. Many of her recordings were backed by the orchestra of Paul Weston, whom she married in 1952. She also performed duets with Gordon MacRae and Frankie Laine. Her work with the United Service Organizations (USO) giving concerts for soldiers earned her the nickname "G.I. Jo". Starting in 1945, Stafford was a regular host of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) radio series The Chesterfield Supper Club and later appeared in television specials in the US and the UK, including two series, The Jo Stafford Show, in 1954 and 1961, respectively.
Stafford married twice; firstly to musician John Huddleston around 1941 (the couple divorced in 1943), then to Paul Weston in 1952, with whom she had two children. She and Weston developed a comedy routine in which they assumed the identity of a bad lounge act named Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, parodying well-known songs. The act proved popular at parties and among the wider public when the couple released an album as the Edwardses in 1957. The album, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris, won Stafford her only Grammy Award, for Best Comedy Album in 1961, and was the first commercially successful parody album. Stafford largely retired as a performer in the mid-1960s, but continued in the music business. She enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity in the late 1970s when she recorded a cover of the Bee Gees hit, "Stayin' Alive" as Darlene Edwards. In the 1990s she began re-releasing some of her material through Corinthian Records, a label founded by her husband. She died in 2008 in Century City, Los Angeles, and is interred with Weston at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Her work in radio, television and music is recognized by three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Early years 
Stafford was born in Coalinga, California in 1917 to Grover Cleveland and Anna (née York) Stafford, a second cousin of World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York. Both parents enjoyed singing and sharing music with their family. Her father had hopes of success in the California oil fields when he moved his family from Gainesboro, Tennessee; what he found instead was a succession of unrelated jobs. When he worked for a private girls' school, Grover was allowed to bring the school's phonograph home on Christmas. Stafford remembered hearing "Whispering Hope" on it as a small child. Her mother was an accomplished banjo player, playing and singing many of the folk songs that would influence her daughter's later career.
Stafford's first public singing appearance came in Long Beach, where the family lived when she was twelve. She sang "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms", a Stafford family sentimental favorite. Her second was far more dramatic. A student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School with the lead in the school musical, she was on stage rehearsing when an earthquake hit in 1933, destroying the school. Originally, she wanted to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child. Because of the Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her sisters, Christine and Pauline, in a popular vocal group, The Stafford Sisters, which performed on Los Angeles radio station KHJ. The group got their start on KNX as part of The Singing Crockett Family of Kentucky program when Jo was 18.
The sisters found work in the film industry as backup vocalists, and Jo went straight from her high school graduation to working on film soundtracks. The Stafford Sisters made their first recording with Louis Prima in 1936. In 1937, she worked behind the scenes with Fred Astaire on the soundtrack of A Damsel in Distress. For the film, she created the arrangements and, along with her sisters, the backing vocals for "Nice Work If You Can Get It". Stafford claimed that her arrangement had to be adapted, as Astaire had difficulty with some of the syncopation. In her words: "The man with the syncopated shoes couldn't do the syncopated notes".
The Pied Pipers 
By 1938, the Staffords were involved in the Twentieth Century Fox production of Alexander's Ragtime Band. The studio brought in many vocal groups to work on the film, including The Four Esquires, The Rhythm Kings and The King Sisters. With plenty of time between takes, the various groups sang and socialized while waiting to be called. The Four Esquires and The Rhythm Kings became a new vocal group, The Pied Pipers, along with Stafford.
She later recalled, "We started singing together just for fun, and these sessions led to the formation of an eight-voice singing group that we christened 'The Pied Pipers'". The group consisted of eight members including Stafford: John Huddleston (Stafford's first husband from 1941 to 1943), Hal Hooper, Chuck Lowry, Bud Hervey, George Tait, Woody Newbury, and Dick Whittinghill.
As The Pied Pipers, they worked on local radio and movie soundtracks. When Alyce and Yvonne King had a party for their boyfriends' visit to Los Angeles, the group was invited along to give a performance. The King Sisters' boyfriends were Tommy Dorsey's arrangers Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston, who became interested in the group. Weston described the vocals of the group as unique for its time; his assessment was that their vocal arrangements were much like those for orchestral instruments.
After Weston persuaded Dorsey to audition the group in 1938, the eight drove cross-country to New York City together for the chance. Dorsey liked them enough to sign them for ten weeks. After the second broadcast, the sponsor, visiting from overseas, heard them sing "Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood Mama)". Until this point, the sponsor knew only that he was paying for Dorsey's program and that the program's ratings were very good; transcription discs mailed to him by his advertising agency always arrived broken. His opinion was that the performance was off-color, and he prevailed on the advertising agency representing his brand to fire the group. They stayed in New York for several months, landing only a single job that paid them $3.60 each, but managed to record some material for RCA Victor Records. Weston later said that he and Stordahl felt responsibility for the group, since it was Weston who had made the arrangements for their audition with Dorsey. The two men felt embarrassment when running into them and because they both were still employed by Dorsey.
With no work in New York, The Pied Pipers returned to Los Angeles. Soon after arriving home, Stafford received a phone call from Dorsey, saying he could use the group, but four members only. Half of the group, including Stafford, arrived in Chicago in 1939; this led to success, especially for Stafford, who was also featured in solo performances. The group also backed Frank Sinatra in some of his early recordings.
In 1942, the group had an argument with Dorsey and left; when the singers and Dorsey parted company, the number one song in the United States was "There Are Such Things" by Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers. The group appeared on the radio shows of Sinatra, Bob Crosby and Johnny Mercer. It was one of the first groups signed to Mercer's new label, Capitol Records. Weston was now Capitol's music director; he left Dorsey's band to work with Dinah Shore shortly after Dorsey rehired the smaller version of The Pied Pipers.
Solo career 
In 1944, after her divorce from Huddlestone, Stafford left the Pied Pipers to go solo, becoming the first solo artist signed by Capitol Records. While still working for Dorsey, Mercer said to Stafford, "Some day I'm going to have my own record company, and you're going to record for me." She was signed to the label before it was a year old. The success of Stafford's solo career led to a demand for personal appearances, and from February 1945 she embarked on a six-month residency at New York's La Martinique nightclub. It would be the only nightclub venue the modest Stafford ever played. In a 1996 interview she explained: "I'm basically a singer, period, and I think I'm really lousy up in front of an audience – it's just not me."
United Service Organizations 
Her tenure with the United Service Organizations (USO), in which she gave many performances for soldiers stationed in the US, led to her acquiring the nickname "G.I. Jo". On returning from the Pacific theater, a veteran told Stafford that the Japanese would play her records on loudspeakers in an attempt to make the US troops homesick enough to surrender. She personally replied to all letters she received from servicemen.
Stafford was a favorite of many servicemen in both World War II and Korea; her recordings received a lot of airplay on Armed Forces Radio and in some military hospitals at lights out. Stafford's involvement with servicemen led to an interest in military history and a sound knowledge of it. Years after World War II, Stafford was a guest at a dinner party with a retired naval officer. When the discussion turned to an action off Mindanao during the war, the officer attempted to correct Stafford, who held to her point. He countered with saying, "Madame, I was there"; a few days after the party, Stafford received a note of apology from him, saying he had re-read his logs and that she was correct, after all.
Chesterfield Supper Club 
Beginning in late 1945, she hosted the Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts of an NBC musical variety radio program The Chesterfield Supper Club. On April 5, 1946, Stafford, Perry Como and the entire radio show cast participated in the first commercial radio broadcast from an airplane. The initial plan was to use the same type of stand-held microphones used in studio work; when they proved to be a problem, the cast resorted to hand-held ones, which became heavy and difficult to hold due to the plane's cabin pressure. Two flights were made that evening, one for the initial 6:00 pm broadcast and another at 10:00 pm for the West Coast broadcast.
Stafford moved from New York to California in November 1946, continuing to host Chesterfield Supper Club from Hollywood. She had her own radio show which went on the air later on Tuesday nights when she joined the Supper Club. In 1948, she cut her Supper Club appearances to Tuesdays, with Peggy Lee hosting the Thursday broadcasts. During her time with Chesterfield Supper Club, she revisited some of the folk music she had enjoyed as a child. Weston, who was the conductor of her Supper Club broadcasts, suggested using some of them on the program. With the rediscovery of the folk tunes came an interest in folklore; Stafford established a contest which was awarded to the best collection of American folklore submitted by a college student. The awards were handled by the American Folklore Society.
Duets and Voice of America 
Stafford duetted on a number of songs with Gordon MacRae. In 1948, their version of "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart" sold over a million copies, and in 1949 they repeated their success with "My Happiness". Stafford also recorded "Whispering Hope" with MacRae that year. Stafford began hosting a weekly Radio Luxembourg radio program in 1950, recording the voice portions of the shows in Hollywood. She contributed her disk jockey talents without pay. At the time, she was also hosting Club 15 for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) radio, sharing those duties with Bob Crosby in the same way she did with Como on Chesterfield Supper Club. By 1951, Stafford was also doing weekly radio work for Voice of America (VOA). Collier's magazine published an article about the program in its April 21, 1951 issue titled: "Jo Stafford: Her Songs Upset Joe Stalin"; this earned Stafford the wrath of the Communist newspaper, the Daily Worker, which published a column critical of Stafford and VOA.[note 1]
Weston moved from Capitol to Columbia Records, and in 1950, Stafford also left Capitol for Columbia. Content and very comfortable working with him, Stafford had a clause inserted in her contract with the company stating that if Weston left Capitol, she would automatically be released from her obligations to them. When that happened, Capitol wanted her to record eight more songs for them before December 15, 1950. Stafford consequently made history by working for two record industry competitors simultaneously. In 1954, Stafford became the second artist after Bing Crosby to sell 25 million records for the company.
Marriage to Paul Weston 
Weston and Stafford were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony on February 26, 1952. Stafford converted to Catholicism prior to the marriage.[note 2] The wedding was conducted at St Gregory's Catholic Church in Los Angeles by Father Joe Kearney, a former guitarist with the Bob Crosby band who left the music business to train as a priest and served as head of the Catholic Labor Institute. The couple left for Europe for their combination honeymoon-business trip; Stafford had an engagement at the London Palladium. The marriage produced two children, Tim (born 1952) and Amy (born 1956). Both followed their parents into the music industry. Tim Weston became an arranger and producer who would take charge of his father's music label, Corinthian Records; while Amy Weston employed her vocal talents as a session singer, performing with a trio, Daddy's Money and singing in commercials.
In the 1950s, Stafford had a string of popular hits with Frankie Laine, six of which charted. Their duet of Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'" made the top ten in 1951. It was also at this time that she scored her best known hits with huge records like "Jambalaya", "Shrimp Boats", "Make Love to Me", and "You Belong to Me".
"You Belong to Me" was Stafford's biggest hit, topping the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom; it was the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart. The record first appeared on US charts on August 1, 1952 and continued there for 24 weeks. In the UK, it went onto the charts on November 14, 1952 as number 12, reaching number one on January 16, 1953 and stayed on the charts for 19 weeks. In a July 1953 interview, Paul Weston said his wife's big hit was really the "B" side of the record. Both he and Columbia Records believed that the "A" side of the single, "Pretty Boy", was going to be the big seller.
Stafford hosted the 15-minute The Jo Stafford Show on CBS-TV from 1954 to 1955, with Weston as her conductor and music arranger. She appeared as a guest on NBC's Club Oasis and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) series The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as did many of the popular singers of the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, she hosted a series of television specials called The Jo Stafford Show, centered around music. The shows were produced in England and featured guests, both British and American, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé and Rosemary Clooney.
In 1960, Stafford related there were good and bad points to working closely with her husband. She said that Weston's knowing her so well made it easy for him to arrange music for her, but that it also made it difficult at times, as Weston knew her abilities and would either write or arrange music that was elaborate because he was aware she was capable of performing the song ably. She also said she did not believe she could perform in Broadway musicals, as she felt her voice was not powerful enough for stage work.
Both Stafford and Weston returned to Capitol in 1961. During her second stint at Capitol, Stafford also recorded for Sinatra's label Reprise Records. These albums were released between 1961 and 1964, and were mostly remakes of songs from her past. Stafford left the label when Sinatra sold it to Warner Brothers. In late 1965, both Stafford and Weston left Capitol again, this time for Dot Records.
Comedy performances 
During the 1940s, Stafford briefly performed comedy under the name "Cinderella G. Stump" with Red Ingle and the Natural Seven. She recorded a hillbilly send-up of "Temptation", pronouncing it "Tim-tayshun", in 1947. Cinderella G. Stump was born when she met Ingle at a recording studio and he told her his female vocalist had been unable to make his recording session. Stafford asked if she could help, and gave an impromptu performance. It was not known initially that it was her voice on the record. Because she had done it in fun on the spur of the moment and accepted standard scale pay, Stafford waived all royalties from the record. Stafford, along with Ingle and Weston, made a personal appearance tour in 1949, turning herself into Cinderella G. Stump to perform the song. Stafford and Ingle performed the song on network television in 1960 for Startime. Fifty years after Stafford's impromptu recording with Red Ingle, she was heard again as Cinderella G. Stump as part of the soundtrack for the 1997 remake of Lolita.
Throughout the 1950s, Stafford and Weston entertained guests at parties by putting on a skit in which they assumed the identities of a bad lounge act. Stafford sang off-key in a high pitched voice; Weston played an untuned piano off key and with bizarre rhythms. Weston began the act at a Columbia Records sales convention, "filling time" with his impression of a dreadful lounge pianist. His audience was very appreciative and continued to ask for more even after the convention was over. Columbia Records executive George Avakian named Weston's character Jonathan Edwards, for the 18th century Calvinist preacher, and asked him to record an album under this alias. Weston worried that he might not be able to come up with enough material for an entire album alone. He asked his wife to join the project, and Stafford gave the persona of the off-key vocalist the name Darlene Edwards.
Finding that she had time left over following a 1957 recording session, Stafford, as a gag, recorded a track as Darlene Edwards. At the time, the head of Columbia's artists and repertoire department was Mitch Miller, who had been selecting songs like "Underneath the Overpass" and similar novelty-type songs for Stafford to record. Because she did not agree with Miller's choices for her, Stafford and her studio musicians often recorded their own renditions of the music, performing the songs according to the way they felt about them. This is how the Darlene Edwards character was born. Those who heard bootlegs of the recording responded positively, and later that year, Stafford and Weston recorded an entire album of songs as Jonathan and Darlene, entitled The Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards. As a publicity stunt, Stafford and Weston claimed that the Edwardses were a New Jersey lounge act that they had discovered, and denied any personal connection.
The ruse led to much speculation about the Edwardses' identity. Time magazine noted that some people believed the performers were Margaret and Harry Truman. The 1957 Time article exposed that they were in fact Weston and Stafford. In 1958, the Westons brought the pair to the television screen for Jack Benny's Shower of Stars, and again for The Garry Moore Show in 1960.
The Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards was followed up with a "pop standards" album, on which the pair intentionally butchered popular music. Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris was released in 1960 and won that year's Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. In a rare move, the Academy decided to issue two awards for the category that year; Bob Newhart also received an award for "Spoken Word Comedy." It was the only major award that Stafford ever won.
The couple continued to release the albums for several years, and in 1979 released a cover of The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" backed by an Edwards interpretation of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman". The same year also saw a brief resurgence in the popularity of Jonathan and Darlene albums when their cover of "Carioca" was featured as the opening and closing theme to The Kentucky Fried Movie. Their 1962 album, Sing Along With Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, was blamed by Mitch Miller for putting an end to his sing-along television show and record albums. Their last release, Darlene Remembers Duke, Jonathan Plays Fats, was issued in 1982.
Because she disliked the continuing travel for television appearances that took her away from her two children and saying she no longer found it fun, Stafford went into semi-retirement in the mid-1960s, retiring completely from the music business in 1975. Except for the Jonathan and Darlene Edwards material and a recording of her favorite "Whispering Hope" with her daughter Amy in 1978, Stafford did not perform again until 1990, at a ceremony honoring Frank Sinatra. The Westons then devoted more of their time to Share Inc., a charity that aids those with developmental disabilities; the couple had been active in the organization for many years. Concord Records attempted to get Stafford to change her mind and come out of retirement, but she remained adamant.
Stafford and Weston began work on an autobiography in 1979. Titled The Ducks Are Drowning the book was to focus primarily on the early part of their careers, with anecdotes and stories from that era. But after putting together an outline and working on a rough draft they abandoned the project the following year because of a lack of interest from publishers, one of which had wanted the book to be more sensationalist, a suggestion the Westons were unhappy with. Their manuscript was later edited by Keith Pawlak, curator of the University of Arizona's jazz and popular music archive, and published in 2012 as Song of the Open Road: An Autobiography and Other Writings.
Stafford won a breach-of-contract lawsuit against her former record label, Columbia, in the early 1990s. Due to a clause in her contract regarding the payment of royalties, she secured the rights to all of the recordings she made with the company, including those made as Jonathan and Darlene Edwards. Following the lawsuit, Stafford, along with son Tim, reactivated the Corinthian Records label, which began life as a religious label that the devout Paul Weston had started. With Tim's help she began releasing some of her old material.
In 1996, Paul Weston died of natural causes. Stafford continued to operate Corinthian Records. In 2006, she donated the couple's library to the University of Arizona. The collection includes music arrangements for themselves or other artists, as well as some personal and professional items such as photographs, business correspondence and recordings.
Awards and recognition 
Stafford won admiration from both critics and the listening public for the purity of her voice, and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of her era.[note 3] Her work in radio, television and music is recognized by three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1954, Columbia Records presented Stafford with a diamond-studded disc to mark 25 million record sales. She was named one of the Best Dressed Women of 1955 by the New York Fashion Academy while presenting her eponymous CBS television show. Songbirds Magazine has noted that by 1955 Stafford had amassed a greater number of worldwide record sales than any other female artist, and that she was ranked fifth overall. Her 1960 collaboration with Weston on Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris earned Stafford the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, the only accolade she received from them. She was inducted into the Big Band Academy of America's Golden Bandstand in April 2007.
- Kiss Me, Kate (1949)
- Jo Stafford with Gordon MacRae (1949)
- Autumn in New York (1950)
- Songs for Sunday Evening (1950)
- American Folk Songs (1950)
- Songs of Faith (1950)
- Capitol Collectors series (1950)
- As You Desire Me (1952)
- Starring Jo Stafford (1953)
- Broadway's Best (1953)
- A Portrait of New Orleans (1954)
- Garden of Prayer (1954)
- My Heart's in the Highlands (1954)
- Soft and Sentimental (1955)
- Songs of Scotland (1955)
- Memory Songs (1955)
- Happy Holiday (1955)
- Ski Trails (1956)
- A Gal Named Jo (1956)
- Once Over Lightly (1957)
- The Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards (1957)
- Swingin' Down Broadway (1958)
- Jo's Greatest Hits (1958)
- I'll Be Seeing You (1959)
- Ballad of the Blues (1959)
- Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris (1960)
- Jo + Jazz (1960)
- Music of My Life (1961)
- Whispering Hope (1962)
- Peace in the Valley (1963)
- Getting Sentimental over Tommy Dorsey (1963)
- The Hits of Jo Stafford (1964)
- Jo Stafford's Sweet Hour of Prayer (1964)
- The Joyful Season (1964)
- This Is Jo Stafford (1966)
- Do I Hear a Waltz? (1966)
- Big Band Sound (1970)
- Darlene Remembers Duke, Jonathan Plays Fats (1982)
Film and television 
Although Stafford appeared on screen many times throughout her career, her television work was restricted by a combination of poor eyesight that meant she was unable to read the cue cards without her glasses, and the bright studio lights that caused her discomfort. Forced to memorize the scripts for any appearances she did make, Stafford declined several offers of television work for these reasons. Her film and television appearances span the decades from the 1930s, when she appeared in films such as Alexander's Ragtime Band, to her final appearance in the Frank Sinatra tribute Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come in 1990. Some of her film and television credits are listed below:
|1938||Alexander's Ragtime Band||With The Stafford Sisters|
|1954||The Jo Stafford Show||Presenter|
|1958||Shower of Stars||Appeared as Darlene Edwards|
|1960||The Garry Moore Show||Appeared as Darlene Edwards|
|1961||The Jo Stafford Show||Presenter|
|1990||Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come||Guest|
- The newspaper dismissed Voice of America as "one of the standing jokes of Europe" and criticised Stafford for her "average earnings of $300,000, just like the rest of us hometown girls with our chintz aprons and chocolate cookie recipes".
- Because of Stafford's status as a divorcee she and Weston had to apply for permission to marry in a Catholic Church.
- Stafford had a reputation for perfect pitch, but she dismissed this, claiming simply to have been a careful singer with good relative pitch.
- Heckman, Don (July 18, 2008). "Jo Stafford; singer gained fame with WWII soldiers and in '50s". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 28. ISBN 0-85156-156-X.
- "Jo Stafford of CBS 'Club 15'". The Sherbrooke Telegram. February 23, 1950. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Jo Stafford". The Daily Telegraph. July 17, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Kleiner, Dick (August 5, 1954). "The Marquee". The Telegraph-Herald. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- Leonard, Vince (March 19, 1964). "Jo Stafford Easy Talker". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Jo Stafford, singer known as 'GI Jo'". The Press Democrat. July 19, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Jo Stafford". Parabrisas.com. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- Friedwald, William (July 18, 2008). "Jo Stafford, 90, Singer of Swing, Standards, and Lampoons". New York Sun. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- Interview by Michael Feinstein, Bonus Tracks on Stafford, Jo (2003). Ballad of the Blues (Audio CD). Feinery.
- Levinson, Peter, ed. (2009). Puttin' On the Ritz: Fred Astaire and the Fine Art of Panache, A Biography. Macmillan. p. 105. ISBN 0-312-35366-9. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- Bernstein, Adam (July 18, 2008). "Jo Stafford, 90; Pop Singer Won a Grammy for Comedy". The Washington Post. pp. B7. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
- Weston 2012, p. 13.
- Pied Pipers Ad. Billboard. 1943. p. 56. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- Hall, Fred, ed. (1989). Dialogues in swing:intimate conversations with the stars of the big band era. Pathfinder Publishing of California. pp. 37–56. ISBN 0-934793-19-0. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
- Warner, Jay, ed. (2006). American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 51–53. ISBN 0-634-09978-7. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Lees, Gene, ed. (1989). Singers and the Song. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 154–176. ISBN 0-19-506087-3. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Roberts. T.C. (November 5, 1987). "Announcer remembers top bands of the past". The Vindicator. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- "Girlish Voice". Time. July 1, 1946. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- Popa, Christopher (December 2007). "Paul Weston". Big Band Music. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
- Nancy Franklin (August 26, 1996). "A Voice From Home". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Jo Stafford 'Debuts' at La Martinique". St Petersburg Times. February 18, 1945. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Weston 2012, pp. 195.
- "Singer, radio star Jo Stafford dies at 90". The Union Democrat. July 21, 2008. p. 2. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Actresses and Vocalists Star On Networks". Youngstown Vindicator. December 9, 1945. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- Full-page ad for the Chesterfield Supper Club. Life Magazine. January 13, 1947. p. 78. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- "Big Plane To Serve As Broadcast Studio". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. March 28, 1946. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
- BCL (April 8, 1946). "Flyin' High". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- Music--As Written. Billboard. November 2, 1946. p. 20. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- "Actresses and Vocalists Star on Networks". Youngstown Vindicator. December 9, 1945. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- Dunning, John, ed. (1998). On the air: the encyclopedia of old time radio. Oxford University Press USA. p. 840. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- Thomas, Bob (January 31, 1950). "Chirper Jo Stafford Spins U.S. Records For Europeans". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Uncle Sam's Gal Jo Upsets Joe Stalin". The Pittsburgh Press. July 8, 1951. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Recording For Two Firms At Same Time Is Jo Stafford's Latest Claim To Fame". St, Petersburg Times. November 2, 1950. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- "Jo Stafford to Wear $2 Million in Jewels". Reading Eagle. May 1, 1954. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Jo Stafford: Multi-million-selling hit singer who with 'You Belong to Me' was the first woman to top the UK charts". The Independent. July 19, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Jo Stafford Weds Composer". Meridien Record. February 26, 1952. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Success Story Too Good For Hollywood Production". St Petersburg Times. May 31, 1953. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Weston 2012, p. 25.
- "Jo Stafford and Paul Weston Wed". St. Joseph News-Press. February 27, 1952. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Stafford, Jo (June 1953). "Blessed, Tiny Timothy". Radio-TV Mirror. Retrieved November 18, 2010. (PDF)
- "Jo Stafford Has Son". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. November 20, 1952. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Jo Stafford Has Girl". Youngstown Vindicator. March 2, 1956. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Reed, Bill (Winter 2000). "Jo Stafford". Songbirds (online magazine). Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Record Research.
- Rice, Jo & Tim, Gambaccini, Paul and Read, Mike(1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 7. ISBN 0-85112-250-7
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Composer Says Modern Music Not Worth Salt". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. July 1, 1953. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Thomas, Bob (February 3, 1954). "Hollywood Report". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
- Robertson, Hal (May 30, 1954). "In This TV Family-The Little Woman Takes Orders". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Graham, Sheilah (February 25, 1955). "Hollywood". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- Kloss, Gerald (January 26, 1964). "Pick A Hot Pop". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Kleiner, Dick (November 26, 1960). "Hubby Writes It And Jo Warbles". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- Talent Topics. Billboard. November 3, 1962. p. 12. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- Jo Stafford's Dot LP Out in January. Billboard. October 23, 1965. p. 6. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- The Billboard Music Popularity Chards: Juke Box Record Plays. Billboard. August 2, 1947. p. 31. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- General Artists Corporation trade ad for Jo Stafford. Billboard. November 5, 2011. p. 9. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jo Stafford|
- Jo Stafford at Allmusic.com
- Jo Stafford Memorial
- Terry Teachout on Jo Stafford
- Jo Stafford bio presented by Corinthian Records
- Bio on the MP3.com site
- Jo Stafford at the Internet Movie Database
- Discography at the University of Arizona's Paul Weston and Jo Stafford Collection
- Interview by KUOW-FM's Amanda Wilde
- Jo Stafford and Nelson Eddy 1951 mp3 recordings and information at maceddy.com/blog site