Monday, September 01, 2008

Heading Toward the Music

See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise on a tropic isle
Just remember, darling, all the while
You belong to me.

See the marketplace in old Algiers
Send me photographs and souvenirs
But remember when a dream appears
You belong to me.

I'll be so alone without you
Maybe you'll be lonesome too---and blue

Fly the ocean in a silver plane
Watch the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me

I am sad to see another of my childhood icons has died. Every Saturday night when I was seven or eight, my folks listened to a musical radio variety show, Your Hit Parade. Jo Stafford was one of the featured girl singers. They also featured a guitar player who could make his guitar cry and say "Maa-maa," which I loved. But I loved Jo Stafford best. If she was supposed to sing, and it was past my bedtime, I begged to stay up long enough to hear her. While it may have had as much to do with my staying up later, I really did want to hear her sing. Time magazine says she was one of the greatest ballad singers of all time. Her popular hit You Belong To Me sold two million copies. She was, says Time, up there in a group that included July Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee. During WWII, and even into the Korean War, she performed for servicemen overseas "who felt as if they were home" when she sang. "Although she was a major star, she was a modest person who would have seemed out of place in a limousine. She was like a girl on a bus, always heading toward the music," writes Jonathan Schwartz. Jo Stafford was 90 years old.

For the longest time now, I have gone to bed whenever I damn well please. Good Night, Jo. Sweet dreams.


Jo said...

My grandma sang this often......all this kind of music is so evocative for me. Sorry she's gone. On another note, my Pepek arrived and I am half-way through and oh, Joyce, it is I've said before you are an astonishing poet. When I've finished I'll write you properly. But what an opus.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

It is sad to hear someone you may not know personally, but know so well in your heart, pass on. I feel that way about so many artists. I knew one of the singers of the Duprees. Michael Arnone. He passed. I know this as his ex is my g/f since childhood. p.s. Joyce, I was given an award which asked me to nominate 7. I should have been irreverent and nominated as many as I wanted. You were my honorable mention as I truly appreciate your talent as a writer.
Although I'm an agented screenwriter, and have been writing for years, I don't think I can come close to your talents.

Kay said...

I really must try again to get hold of Pepek. I have tried once before, but didn't have much luck for some reason I can't remember now ...
It's been good to catch up. Didn't mean to leave it so long. You have been very productive I see. great stuff!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Kay, you're here! You found me!


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Kay,oh, you mean the BOOK....

Jo, I'm so glad you like Pepek. I had a lot of fun with him for a long time. Your grandma was probably contemporary with my mother.

Petra, she was 90. But yes, it is sad. My son once put one of The Ramones in jail for beating someone in the subway with a cane....