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.