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Jo Stafford

Born:

Jo Elizabeth Stafford, the third of four sisters, was born November 12, 1917 on a tract of land known as "Lease 35" in Coalinga,California. Her mother, Anna York Stafford,a distant cousin of World War I hero Alvin York was known as one of the finest five-string banjoists in Gainsboro, Tennessee. Her father, Grover Cleveland Stafford, had come West to work in the California oil fields.

Jo's professional debut was with the Stafford Sisters, a trio in which Jo, upon graduation from Long Beach Poly High, joined her sisters Christine and Pauline. They had their own weekly radio show on KHJ radio, were regular performers on David Broekman's California Melodies, the Crockett Family of Kentucky shows, and performed both solo and group vocal work for all the major motion picture studios.

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Article: Album Review

Vanessa Racci: Jazzy Italian

Read "Jazzy Italian" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Vanessa Racci describes herself a jazz / cabaret singer of Italian-American descent with a passion for retro jazz and music made famous by Italian Americans. She has a previous album, entitled Italiana Fresca (2017, self-produced), and currently performs several shows that celebrate American jazz composers, Italian American music and contributions to jazz and pop in the ...

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Article: First Time I Saw

Kay Starr

Read "Kay Starr" reviewed by Carol Sloane


It was probably on a popular television variety program such as The Ed Sullivan Show. Or it could have been the cover of a magazine I bought faithfully once a month which contained all the lyrics to the popular songs of the day. I was just fourteen years old in 1951, and Kay Starr had a ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

One of the Boys in the Band: Discovering my Dad

Read "One of the Boys in the Band: Discovering my Dad" reviewed by George Gozzard


George Gozzard was the baby of a pretty large family the jazz trumpeter Harry Roy Gozzard raised. Harry was one of those great working musicians we heard about in the 1930s and through the 1950s who played jazz and dance band gigs interchangeably. These were the days of months long (if not longer) engagements musicians would ...

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Article: Interview

Michelle Lordi: Career Evolution

Read "Michelle Lordi: Career Evolution" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Some artists are blessed to be born into situations where opportunities are at the ready. Education and training are easily obtainable. Maybe they have connections to the professional world, via their lineage or other friends. Even so, it's still up to them to produce and deal with the inevitable vagaries of their choice to pursue music ...

News: Opinion

George Shearing: Quintet Xmas

George Shearing: Quintet Xmas

At JazzWax, 12 is the number of years I've posted annually on my selection for the JazzWax Vintage Holiday Album Hall of Fame. The point of this is to offer up perfect holiday music that conjures up feelings of a time long past or is just superbly executed seasonal music. Combined on your iTunes or Spotify ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Joni Mitchell Turns 75; Remembering Roy Hargrove

Read "Joni Mitchell Turns 75; Remembering Roy Hargrove" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This post-election broadcast celebrates the new wave of women in the House and Senate -also remembering Roy Hargrove (1969-2018) in the second hour plus a special 75th birthday tribute to Joni Mitchell in the third hour. Playlist Roxy Coss “Nevertheless She Persisted" from The Future Is Female (Posi-Tone) 00:00 Ethel Ennis “If Women Ruled ...

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Article: Year in Review

2017: The Year in Jazz

Read "2017: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


A year of achievements, challenges to gender inequality, scandal and losses The year 2017 was quite something for the jazz world. Incidents or discussions of misogyny and sexual misconduct bubbled up even before the #MeToo phenomenon developed. Beyond that, woman musicians made significant contributions to the genre. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage ...

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Article: Out and About: The Super Fans

Meet Tom Wells

Read "Meet Tom Wells" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper


Born and raised in that other “capital of jazz"--jny: Kansas City, birthplace of Charlie Parker--Super Fan Tom Wells, along with long-time jazz date, his wife, Geri St. Clair (a future Super Fan--stay tuned!), is a huge supporter of the local scene. How huge? Well, Tom and Geri once followed the University of Missouri Kansas City's Jazz ...

News: Recording

Jo and Rosey: Two New CDs

Jo and Rosey: Two New CDs

Back in the 1950s, pop singers played a vital role in the fabric of our society. Unlike today, where many pop stars leverage dark fantasies and disturbing psychological dramas in songs to connect with audiences, singers 60 years ago were songbirds of the American Dream. They were relentlessly cheery and upbeat, and in the process lifted ...


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