1957 Jill Corey – Love Me To Pieces
Norma Jean Speranza grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh. She won a talent contest when she turned 13 that awarded her the chance to sing a song live on a local radio station. That led to having her own program, and within a year she was singing with an orchestra seven nights a week. The gig only paid her $5 a night.
A tape of her singing led to an audition with Mitch Miller at Columbia Records. Mitch gave her a choice: audition with Arthur Godfrey or Dave Garroway. She chose Dave, and she passed the audition and signed a recording contract with Columbia. Dave picked up a phone book and selected a new stage name for her, and she became Jill Corey. She sang on The Dave Garroway Show from 1953 to 1954. Her next two years found her on The Robert Q. Lewis Show. She also appeared on the Tonight Show a few times.
Jill began recording singles for Columbia, and in late 1956, she released her first charting single. I Love My Baby (My Baby Loves Me) peaked at #21 in early 1957.
Je t’appartiens was a hit in France in 1955. Manny Curtis penned English lyrics for the tune, and Jill recorded the song with the Jimmy Carroll Orchestra later in 1957. Her single reached #57 after she performed the song on the CBS drama anthology series Climax.
Jill was the first of six artists to reach the Hot 100 in the US with the song. It later became a top ten hit for the Everly Brothers in 1960 and for Jerry Butler and Betty Everett in 1964.
Jill made regular appearances on Your Hit Parade between 1957 and 1959. She had her biggest hit with the release of Love Me To Pieces. The single peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1957.
Jill appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show a half-dozen times and made guest appearances on nearly a dozen other television series before taking time off to raise a family in 1965. She attempted a comeback in 1972, but found it very difficult to cope with the changes in the music industry.
Jill died in April 2021.
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