Wikipedia:Peer review/Jo Stafford/archive1

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Jo Stafford[edit]

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This peer review discussion has been closed.
Listing for peer review ahead of a future GA nomination (probably later this year or early in 2013). Both myself and We hope have worked on this over recent months, and it would be interesting to find out what else the article may need to bring it up to GA status. Looking at other similar articles I suspect some of the sections on her later life may need to be merged, and the discography hived off to a separate article, but I'm not really sure, and there may be other things which need doing too. Thanks, Paul MacDermott (talk) 13:56, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Doing... Also touching up the photo of Stafford in the infobox, getting rid of the awkward dots in there. Will upload that soon. – Runfellow (talk) 23:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


Comments, Part 1

As a frame of reference, I'm using the article guidelines from the Musicians Wikiproject, though that seems to be just a few general notes, not a set of comprehensive policies. I'm also looking at the articles for Elaine Paige and Kathleen Ferrier, both of which are featured.

Lead
  • Technically, the way the first sentence is written is correct, but the phrase "occasional actress whose career spanned four decades" somewhat implies that it was the acting that spanned four years, not her career in general.
    • Done.
  • No comma after "four decades"
    • Done.
  • "She was greatly admired" could be clarified a bit by changing the sentence from passive to active. Who admired her and considered her "one of the most versatile vocalists of the era"? The listening public, the music critics, or both?
    • Changed to "She was admired by both critics and the listening public for the purity of her voice and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era." Ref is offline, so I hope that is an accurate description.
  • "...at the age of twelve, and after graduating from high school..." - Change to "at the age of twelve. After graduating from high school,..." because there isn't quite enough link between those two thoughts to justify a conjunction there.
    • Done.
  • The sentence beginning with "The sisters enjoyed" contains awkward syntax, mostly because it jumps around chronologically. When "after" and "before" are in the same sentence, that can happen. Better would be "After meeting future members of the The Pied Pipers on the set of Twentieth Century Fox's production of Alexander's Ragtime Band, she became lead singer for the group."
    • Changed to "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."
  • Similar passive vs. active issue as above with the sentence beginning "After a difficult start". Better would be "After a difficult start, bandleader Tommy Dorsey hired The Pied Pipers in 1939 to perform backup vocals for his orchestra, including work in some early recordings from Frank Sinatra."
    • Done.
  • Comma after "As the first solo artist signed to Capitol Records" but no comma after "throughout the 1940s"
    • Done.
  • "where she continued to record" - This seems redundant, considering the person we're talking about and the nature of Capitol Records.
    • Done. Changed to "where she had some of her biggest hits." That can be removed though if necessary.
  • "while as well as her solo work she also recorded" - Awkward syntax. The semicolon before it makes it more awkward.
    • Done. Changed to "In addition to her solo work she also performed several duets with other artists, including Gordon MacRae and Frankie Laine."
  • National Broadcasting Company isn't italicized, as per WP:ITALICS
    • Done
  • "The Chesterfield Supper Club;" - Needs a comma, not a semicolon.
    • Done.
  • "She was also viewed" - Was, but isn't any more? Also: By whom?
    • Done. Have completely rewritten the last paragraph to expand on the Edwardses and give an example of their influence.
  • "She was the first woman to have a No 1 on the UK Singles Chart." - This seems like a pretty big deal. You might consider moving it to the top as part of the first sentence, if you can fit it in there.
    • Moved to paragraph one. May also need to mention Grammy there.
Early years
  • Might want to be careful about semicolons here; you have quite a few of them, including two in a row here.
    • Have spotted and corrected a few.
  • The earthquake story is interesting and worthy of a mention, but it feels a little strange in the middle of that paragraph. Like "Oh and she sang during an earthquake. Anyways..." Not sure how you can address that fully, but I'll try to think of something.
    • Agreed. Not sure how to rework that at present, but will have a think.
  • You have "The Stafford Sisters" in quotes here, but not elsewhere. Technically, they shouldn't be, but you may be able to get away with it if you write something like "called 'The Stafford Sisters'". Even then, I'm not sure.
    • Removed quotes from all instances.
  • Don't be afraid to split sentences. "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, with her sisters, sang backup vocals for the song "Nice Work if You Can Get It".
    • Split that sentence and one or two others.
  • Comma after "to be adapted".
    • Done.

More later. I'm clearly nitpicking here, so don't think any of these things are somehow going to be disqualifiers for GA status. It's clearly a good article overall about an interesting subject. Bear with me as I go through each element, and I'll finish up with general notes regarding some of your original concerns – Runfellow (talk) 00:57, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments so far. Just spent an afternoon tweaking the lead and the first section. I've expanded the lead a little to include one or two things I'd overlooked previously, but hopefully it reads better now. Also, I'm wondering if the Grammy should be mentioned in paragraph 1, but haven't yet decided how best to do that. Paul MacDermott (talk) 15:49, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Comments, Part 2
The Pied Pipers
  • Seems like you'll want a wikilink to Alexander's Ragtime Band (film) at some point here. Optionally, you could include one for The Four Esquires as well.
    • Done. Alexander's Ragtime Band is linked in the lead and The Four Esquires in this section.
  • "It soon worked out that" - Sometimes a source doesn't give much information on this, and sometimes the story is a little too difficult to explain in a summary style article, but this phrase here is a little vague. Was this simply a marriage of financial convenience, or was it more musically motivated? Was it arranged by the groups' managers, or was it pushed more by the performers themselves?
  • Done. I've rewritten that piece, adding a quote from Stafford and Weston's autobiography. The sources are sktetchy, but it seems that the decision to merge the groups was a mutual one between their members. Hopefully there's enough info here now.
  • I'd kind of like to know what these members played or sang in the group, rather than just a list of names, but if it makes the list go on too long, forget it.
  • Remember to capitalize "The" whenever referring to "The Pied Pipers", since the article is part of the proper

name, in this case.

    • Done.
  • No need for "radio" and "movie" to be wikilinks. If you wikilink "soundtracks", you'll want to do it the first (and only the first) time you use it.
    • Done the ones I've found so far, but there could be others.
  • This is just a minor thing of mine, but be careful about phrases like "landed only a single job that paid them just $3.60 each". Words like "only" and "just" can typically be left out in this context. Yes, that's clearly not a good situation, but people can determine that on their own. Sadly, there were plenty of people during that time that were working for less than that per week.
    • Done.
  • I'm a little confused by the story about Dorsey. After the sponsor disliked the group, did they fire them, or did Dorsey? Because if it was out of Dorsey's hands, why would the two guys be embarrassed about still working for Dorsey?
    • The sponsor was based overseas, but demanded their sacking when he visited the United States and heard the show. I'm not sure of the logistics of who did what, so that'll need a bit more attention. Presumably he told Dorsey to fire them.
  • "re-hired" should be "rehired", I believe.
    • Done.
Solo career
  • "countless performances" - Eh, hyperbole doesn't seem right here. Maybe "many". Or if you have a number, even better.
    • Done.
  • "to surrender; she personally" - These sentences don't directly relate, so a period is more appropriate. You have quite a few of these close together anyway.
    • Done.
  • No en dash needed before the name of the show.
    • Done.
  • The first time you mention Perry Como, you use his last name as though he's already been introduced. You wikilink it later. You'll want to swap those two.
    • Done. Delinked second. There are two others in the discography, but I can sort those out when I work on that section.
  • "thought to be" or it definitely "was" the first airplane broadcast? If there's some doubt or controversy, say who thinks it was the first.
    • Not sure as I couldn't find the first half of the newspaper story.
  • Comma, no hyphen after "that evening".
    • Done.
  • See WP:MOSTIME for proper time formatting.
    • Done.
  • Was "Supper Club" a regular show? If so, it should be in italics.
    • Done.
  • Strike "remembered and" and "heard and".
    • Done.
  • "established a prize" - Perhaps "established a contest" would work better.
    • Done.
  • Comma after "In 1948"
    • Done.
  • Clarify "million-seller". If the record sold a million copies, tell us straight up.
    • Changed to "In 1948, Stafford and Gordon MacRae's version of "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart" sold over a million copies, and in 1949 they repeated their success with "My Happiness"."
  • "the "Whispering Hope" of her childhood memories" - I think you might be trying a little too hard to be clever here.
    • Done.
  • "much as was done with" - Awkward syntax.
    • Chanced to "in the same way she did with Perry Como on Chesterfield Supper Club".
  • Add "(VOA)" after mentioning "Voice of America" if you plan to use the acronym later, as you have.
    • Done.
  • "entitled" should be "titled", and there should be no colon after it. Also, names of articles should be quotes, rather than italics.
    • Done.
  • No comma after "with the company,". Comma after "While at Columbia"
    • Done.
  • "their duet of Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'" making the top ten in 1951." doesn't justify the semicolon before it, but changing "making" to "made" would solve that problem.
    • Done. Split the sentence into two.
  • Delete "all-time" and "both"
    • Done.
  • Delete "as did many of the popular singers of the late 1950s."
    • Done.
  • The sentence "Both Stafford and Weston would return to Capitol in 1961." from earlier in this section should definitely go to the beginning of the last paragraph of this section. Change "would return" to "returned".
    • Done.
  • "mostly retrospective in nature" - Does this mean that the albums were covers of older songs that they had performed and recorded in the past (as Capitol sometimes did) or that the songs' themes and lyrics were more retrospective of the past?
    • They seem to be covers of previous songs she recorded, so I've updated that accordingly.
Jonathan and Darlene Edwards
  • This section would better be titled "Comedic career" or something to that effect. It gives the reader a better impression as to what the section is about, and encompasses more than just the Edwards act.
    • Done.
  • "was brilliantly funny, a remarkable example of how a true singer could adapt to any theme and style" - This is definitely a NPOV issue, I'm afraid, one of the first serious ones in the article. If there were contemporary accounts from critics or audiences saying she was very funny, you can say that explicitly. If this is the opinion of the source you're looking at, tell us that's who thought it was funny or remarkable.
    • I'm not sure if this is a quote from somewhere, but as I can't read the source to find out I've left it as it is for now.
  • Delete "Further success in the comedy genre came about again accidentally."
    • Done.
  • "It was Paul who innocently began the act at a Columbia Records sales convention," - Change to "Weston began the act at a Columbia Records sales convention,"
    • Done.
  • "gave the character Weston played the name of Jonathan Edwards, a Calvinist preacher, and asked him to record an album under this alias" - Change to "named Weston's character Jonathan Edwards, for the 18th century Calvanist preacher. He asked Weston to record an album under this alias."
    • Done. Not sure if there shouldn't be some kind of link to the other Edwards.
  • "they were in fact the Edwardses" - I think you mean they were in fact Weston and Stafford, since the "they" in question here is referring to the performers.
    • Done.
  • "The album was followed up..." This sentence needs to be moved to the subsequent paragraph.
    • Done.
  • Why is "full time" in quotes?
    • Done. Unquoted.
  • No commas needed around "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris".
    • Done.
Personal Life and Retirement
  • Since earlier parts of the article, in chronological form, mention various aspects of Stafford's personal life (marriage, kids, etc.) and this section contains almost no personal information, it seems a little misleading to use "personal life" in the section heading here. I'd recommend changing it to just "retirement", since that's what the section is about.
    • Done.
  • I don't think "fun" needs to be in quotes. And what is "it" in this case, singing professionally or singing at all?
    • Fun unquoted. At a guess "it" means singing professionally, but I'll need to clarify that before changing it.
  • "also a singer," - Probably superfluous, and makes the syntax a little awkward there.
    • Done.
  • "a charity that aids those with developmental disabilities" - I don't think anyone would have a problem if you named the charity here.
    • Done.
  • "Stafford won a breach-of-contract lawsuit" - You'll want to split this sentence up.
    • Done. Split into two.
  • No comma after "as a religious label,"
  • Done.
Death
  • "her library and her husband's" - Were they two separate libraries? Did these contain special documents, papers, music, etc., or were they just used books?
    • Rephrased slightly, though I'm not sure if they were held separately. Also added some detail about what the library contained.
  • No quotes around "Golden Bandstand".
    • Done.
  • Suffering from congestive heart failure
    • Done.
Discography
  • You may want to look at a few more articles and check with some other editors, but I would say that yes, the discography needs to eventually become its own article. Not sure if you'll be able to merge it with List of Jo Stafford compilation albums or something to that effect. For the article, though, I don't think only recorded studio albums should be included in an article's discography. From Discography guidelines at Wikiproject Musicians:
    • "The discography section of the musician's primary article should also provide a summary of the musician's major works. In most cases this is done using a simple list of their studio albums, leaving a complete listing of releases to the discography article."
    • "Live and compilation albums, EPs, singles, etc. should generally not be included."
    • "If a musician has released an extremely large number of albums, it may be better to describe their discography in a prose summary."
  • The second note for the singles table doesn't seem to be in the same format as the first "| * # peaked at #2 on the country charts"
  • Considering all of that above, the "Notable songs" section seems redundant, and I'd recommend removing it, especially if you end up creating a discography list.
    • I've hived off the singles and most of the albums for now, just leaving her studio albums. There's quite a lot of those so it may look better as straight prose, although I'm not sure how much of it could be sourced. Paul MacDermott (talk) 15:09, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Comparing to GA criteria

All in all, I don't do GA nominations or any of that stuff, so don't take this as any sort of real GA review but here's a very brief rundown of the various parts of the Good article criteria as they relate to this article:

  • Well-written – With a little prose work and some clarification (much of what I've talked about here) I don't think this will be a problem.
  • Factually accurate and verifiable – I haven't checked most of the sources, but this isn't the kind of article where that's usually a problem. Some reviewers will check random references, though, so you'll want to make sure every link works and that they actually say what you've written here.
  • Broad in its coverage – I don't see a problem here. It's not too specific or too broad.
  • Neutral – You'll want to be careful here. We often tend to write about subjects with which we are familiar, and we are familiar with subjects we like. Don't let that get in the way of remaining neutral, and watch for assumed superlatives and crafty adjectives inserted into the text.
  • Stable – Doubtful there's a problem there.
  • Images – Some of the images have some eyebrow-raising rationales, like File:Chesterfield Supper Club in the air.jpg. I'm not sure how they'll react to that, but none of them are the kind that absolutely need to be in the article, so if they have to go, that can happen later, no big deal.

That's all I have, so hopefully that helped. Best of luck on improving the article. – Runfellow (talk) 18:30, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks again. I've spent another couple of hours on this tonight, and have done as much as I can for now. I'll keep working on this though and hopefully get everything addressed soon. Cheers Paul MacDermott (talk) 23:34, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, thanks for your work with the main picture. Paul MacDermott (talk) 13:08, 2 November 2012 (UTC)