Jo Stafford died on Wednesday at the age of 90.
There are hundreds of women with beautiful singing voices, but no one had the pure, melodious, heartfelt, caring sound of Jo Stafford. I first discovered her music about twenty years ago; she instantly stood out from every other female vocalist of the 1940s and 1950s, though, because her voice had a sincerity and an emotion that surpassed anyone else I had heard from that era... or from any other, for that matter.
She lived a long--and I hope, deservedly happy--life, but that's never comfort enough to her family and friends. I hope they can find some touch of solace in the fact that her recordings not only captured the spirit of a bygone time, but that they will continue to do so for many years more.
If you haven't listened to her, I offer a link to my favorite of her recordings, "I'll Be Seeing You." Give it two or three minutes and you'll see why I see her recording of this classic as the definitive one.