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Singer Jo Stafford dead at 90

July 18, 2008 at 12:26 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (UPI) -- Famed pop singer Jo Stafford has died of congestive heart failure in her Century City, Calif., home, her family said. She was 90.

Stafford -- who performed with Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Frankie Laine, Gordon MacRae, Johnny Mercer, Dick Haymes, Tommy Dorsey and the Pied Pipers during her storied career -- had more than 70 songs as a solo artist on the pop charts between 1944 and 1954, the Washington Post said.

Stafford's family told the newspaper she retired in the mid-1960s and focused on charity work because she no longer regarded the music industry as "fun."

Among her biggest hits were the pop ballads "You Belong to Me," "Make Love to Me," "Autumn Leaves," "All the Things You Are" and "I'll Be Seeing You."

She also recorded several novelty songs, including "Temptation," "Shrimp Boats" and "Jambalaya," and was a popular guest on TV variety shows throughout the 1950s.

The Coalinga, Calif., native and her husband, Paul Weston, recorded several albums under the names Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, poking fun at untalented entertainers.

"Jonathan and Darlene in Paris" won the 1960 Grammy Award for best comedy recording.

Stafford was previously married to Pied Piper member John Huddleston. Weston died in 1996.

Stafford is survived by her children with Weston -- Tim Weston of Topanga, Calif., and Amy Wells of Calabasas, Calif., as well as a sister and four grandchildren.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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