1956 Jo Stafford – It’s Almost Tomorrow
Jo Stafford was born in California in 1917. In the thirties, she began singing with her two older sisters as part of the Stafford Sisters. After graduating from high school, Jo began singing on film soundtracks. She later began arranging the vocal portions of some soundtracks.
While working on the film Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Jo and her sisters met singers from several other groups, including the Four Esquires, the Rhythm Kings, and the King Sisters. Jo and seven other members of those groups came away from the production as members of a new group, The Pied Pipers. The group auditioned from Tommy Dorsey in 1938, and he agreed to hire them if they reduced their group back to four members. Several members had already left the group by then, and the remaining four went to work with his orchestra.
Tommy also hired a new vocalist: Frank Sinatra. Frank and the Pied Pipers sang on Tommy’s recording of I’ll Never Smile Again and the single went to #1 in 1940. By 1942, Frank and the Pied Pipers had all left the Dorsey group. In 1943, Jo left the Pied Pipers and began a solo career. She became the first solo female artist to sign with Capitol Records in 1944.
Jo had a seemingly endless string of hit singles over the next decade. She had the distinction of being the best-selling female singer through 1955. Her recording of You Belong To Me not only reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1952, but it also became the first #1 record by a female on the UK chart.
The last time Jo reached the US top twenty came when her single It’s Almost Tomorrow peaked at #14 in 1956. She reached #38 with another single that year, but never charted in the top forty again after that.
Jo won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1960 with a parody album, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris. She stopped making live appearances after that and went into almost full retirement in 1965 so she could devote more time to her family. She died at age 90 in 2008.
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