We’ve told you previously about some of Real Gone Music’s releases for August, and now we’ve got the final two titles for that month: unreleased 1950s radio performances from Jo Stafford and Rosemary Clooney, both due on August 4.
Jo Stafford’s It Had To Be You: Lost Radio Recordings features 24 performances from her stint as co-host (with crooner Tony Martin) of The Carnation Contented Hour on CBS Radio from 1950-1951. It features liner notes from our very own Joe Marchese. Stafford got her start in the mid-1930s as part of The Stafford Sisters before joining The Pied Pipers. By 1939, The Pipers were part of Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra, often backing a young Frank Sinatra. The Pipers departed the Orchestra in 1942 to become recording artists on Capitol in 1942, and by 1944, Stafford had departed the group to remain a solo artist on the label. Her frequent participation in U.S.O. shows during World War II, earned her the nickname “G.I. Jo.” She was also no stranger to radio as she hosted Chesterfield Supper Club and Club 15 as well as a program on Radio Luxembourg in Europe.
1950 was a busy year for her as she was selected to host the Voice of America radio program and left Capitol to join her future husband, arranger/conductor Paul Weston at Columbia. The Carnation Contented Hour’s previous host, Buddy Clark, had perished in a plane crash in October of 1949, and Stafford and Tony Martin were tapped as the new regular hosts beginning in October 1950. The 24 performances on this new CD feature songs by mainstays of the Great American Songbook like Harold Arlen (“I’ve Got the World on a String”), Rodgers and Hart (“Little Girl Blue”), Irving Berlin (“It’s a Lovely Day Today”) and Cole Porter (“In The Still of the Night” and others). Several songs were never otherwise recorded by Stafford such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” She and Martin share a duet on the Gershwins’ “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.” Stafford would remain on the program until the end of 1951 and have score one of her biggest hits the next year with “You Belong to Me” on Columbia. She continued to appear on radio and television but semi-retired from pop recording by the end of the 1960s. The performances on this CD are mastered from tape sources, not transcription discs, from the estate of Tony Martin, courtesy of Michael Feinstein with the blessing of Jo’s son Tim Weston. It has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.
Jo Stafford’s Columbia labelmate, Rosemary Clooney, is the focus of the other newly announced Real Gone title. I Feel A Song Coming On: Lost Radio Recordings also features 24 radio performances, this time from several shows in the 1950s including The Bing Crosby Show for General Electric, The Ford Road Show and The Rosemary Clooney Show. Clooney began recording for Columbia in 1946 as part of Tony Pastor’s big band. She became a solo artist for Columbia in 1949 and became a regular on television and radio music programs for CBS. Her first major hit came in 1951 with “Come-on a My House,” produced by Mitch Miller. Miller then began to feed her more novelty fare to record including “Botch-a Me” and “Mambo Italiano.” Clooney often bristled at the choice of material, preferring instead to perform more classic material as a jazz singer.
Her classic performances of standards are what largely make up the material on this new CD. She would often pre-record her songs for the radio which is where these selections come from. Included are such songs as Porter’s “Anything Goes,” and “I Get A Kick Out of You,” the Gershwins’ “But Not For Me” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” and Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” among others. Clooney would co-star in the film White Christmas in 1954 before leaving Columbia in 1958. She moved around to several labels over the next twenty years including MGM, Coral, RCA Victor, Reprise, Dot and United Artists. She signed with Concord Jazz in 1977 and would record one album a year for the label until she passed away in 2002. The material on this new CD has been taken from tape sources provided by the Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney estates. They have been newly remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. The booklet features rare photographs and liner notes by Clooney historian Tom Pickles.
If you’d like to give either of these titles by these legendary singers a try, we’ve got the pre-order links below together with the rest of Real Gone’s August slate.
AUGUST 4, 2017 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
AUGUST 11, 2017 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC