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The Columbia Hits Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

28 track compilation features her Top 10 Columbia singles, including You Belong To Me, Make Love To Me & Jambalaya, as well as duets with Frankie Laine, plus country & folk songs, spirituals, ballads, novelty singles, and finally ''nightcappers'' like Love Me Good, All Night Long & Teach Me Tonight.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 28, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Corinthian Records
  • ASIN: B000065V7L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,267 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jo Stafford Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jo Stafford had one of the best voices (deep, warm and sexy) in the history of popular music, and used it to great effect on a wide variety of songs covering many different genres. It's not difficult to understand why she was regarded as America's most versatile singer.
This collection of Jo's fifties music contains twenty nine of her hits from her time with Columbia. There is no room on one CD for any more, although there were a few more (and that's not counting the hits - about sixty of them including duets - that Jo had on Capitol). All the essential Columbia hits are here.
Jo's biggest hits from this period (all top ten or better) were You belong to me (number one, sold almost two million copies), Make love to me (also a number one), Shrimp boats, Jambalaya, Keep it a secret, Hambone, Tennessee waltz, If, Hey good lookin' and Ay round the corner.
Also worthy of mention is Suddenly there's a valley, which didn't quite make the top ten (it stalled at thirteen). Gogi Grant had the big hit with it, but both versions were released in Britain, where they had to compete with Petula's British cover. Petula won that contest, but Jo's version got to number twelve, easily beating Gogi. All of which doesn't prove anything, except that all three versions are wonderful, and I love them all.
Jo's last major hit, also included here, was Wind in the willow, which peaked at number 12 in 1957.
This compilation, while not showing the full range of Jo's repertoire, does contain a lot of different types of song and gives you a great sampling of her music.
If this is your first Jo Stafford collection, your next step (assuming you enjoy this, which I'm sure you will) is a collection of her Capitol recordings, of which there are several to choose from.
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Format: Audio CD
When pop vocalist Jo Stafford and Weston moved over to Columbia Records in 1950, their proclivity for novelty tunes far outpaced the straight romantic material. Country covers were particularly big, as seen in several early '50s Hank Williams songs, done cornball pop style, and remakes of hits by Lefty Frizzell and Pee Wee King. The arrangements are generally not as classy or considered as the Capitol material -- Sinatra also suffered suffered mightily under the Columbia system around the same time -- but there are still great moments here. Sometimes it's just fun to hear the goofy techniques they tried in the studio; on other songs they would let Stafford loose on a legitimate ballad, and she always sparkled like a diamond. Overall, this 29-song sampler of her Columbia years is pretty sweet.
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Format: Audio CD
Columbia Hits Collection gives is so many of Jo Stafford's wonderful hit songs from her recording years at Columbia Records. Jo's voice is in excellent form throughout this album; and the sound quality is really rather good. The artwork is tastefully done as well.

The CD starts with Jo Stafford singing her heart out on the classic love song "You Belong To Me." The percussion enhances the natural beauty of this number and Jo never misses a beat! "Keep It A Secret" also works very well; Jo Stafford sings this very well and I can even detect her ability to belt out a tune like few others ever could! This is very impressive. "If" is another lovely number; this love ballad gets a very sensitive treatment from Jo Stafford and I'm convinced that Jo's rendition is THE definitive rendition of this classic love ballad.

"Tennessee Waltz" is a number I usually associate with Patti Page; but when Jo Stafford sings this it truly shines just as if I never heard it before! Jo sings this with panache and the fine musical arrangement for "Tennessee Waltz" complements Jo's singing perfectly. "In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening" also sounds perfect; this duet is very pretty and it all holds its own very well. "It's Almost Tomorrow" certainly gets a royal treatment from Jo Stafford as she delivers this torch song with style and grace.

"Somebody" features Jo Stafford squarely in the spotlight--and that's OK by me! The strings enhance the beauty of this number and Jo gives this a very sensitive treatment. Great! "A Fool Such As I (Now and Then There's)" has some excellent horn work and Jo sings this tune without a flaw. I always thought this was an Elvis Presley song but apparently this song existed before Elvis Presley recorded it.
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Format: Audio CD
After being part of numerous hits for the Tommy Dorsey orchestra, both as a solo singer and as part of The Pied Pipers, Jo went solo in 1944 with Capitol and, to 1950, gave that label over 50 hit singles, including 10 memorable duets with Gordon MacRae. She was even part of Red Ingle & His Natural Seven's 1947 # 1 Temptation [Tim-Tayshun], billed as Cinderella G. Stump.

Late in 1950 she switched to Columbia, along with husband and orchestra leader Paul Weston, where, to 1957, she added another 29 hit singles, including six duets with Frankie Laine, and as reviewer Peter Harris has pointed out, they are ALL here and beautifully remastered.

In the fold-out insert you get four pages of background notes by Gene Lees, written in July 2001, a partial discography of the contents [chart but no label details], and several nice photographs of Jo, including a rare shot with sisters Christine and Pauline, one each with Laine and MacRae, and another with husband Paul.

Just a masterful effort by Corinthian Records of Beverly Hills and one which comes most highly recommended.
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