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Joni James

Pop songstress Joni James was born Giovanna Carmella Babbo in Chicago on September 22, 1930. After studying drama and ballet throughout her adolescence, she joined a local dance troupe on a tour of Canada upon graduating high school, later working as a chorus girl at the Windy City's Edgewater Beach Hotel. A fill-in gig at an Indiana roadhouse convinced James to pursue a career as a singer, and while appearing in a TV commercial she was spotted by executives at MGM, signing to the label in 1952. Her single "Why Don't You Believe Me" sold over a million copies, topping the U.S. charts for six weeks and falling just shy of the Top Ten in Britain.

An overnight sensation, James enjoyed an incredible run of hits over the next year, among them the double-sided "Have You Heard"/"Wishing Ring," "Purple Shades," Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Is It Any Wonder," "Almost Always," "My Love, My Love," "You're Fooling Someone," "Nina-Non (A Christmas Lullaby)," and "You're My Everything." By 1954, however, James' early success seemed to dissipate entirely, and after returning to the Top Ten twice the following year with "How Important Can It Be?" and "You Are My Love" she never reached to the upper rungs of the charts again, although she continued cracking the Top 100 for the remainder of the decade. In 1964, she retired from music to tend to her ailing husband, musical director Anthony Acquaviva, and spent the next three decades essentially removed from the public eye; finally, during the mid-'90s she returned to touring while also supervising the re-release of her classic MGM recordings. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

dongrab
my all time favorite female pop singer. she had a voice like no other
don grab
What a dreamie voice.
This lady is absolutely unbelieveabl e ! I have been a fan of her since the early 50's. I am 75 now and still love her voice. DSM
jmandjm3
Been a fan since I was 10 years old. I am now 72. Met Joni many times. She and Tony her husband took me out to dinner after a radio show they took me to. Been going to all her recent concerts. The sweetest voice I have ever heard. I love her death!
Saw Joni at a high school dance in Philadelphia with my wife of 56 years back in the early 59;s. She's been my favorite since then. I think I have everything she has recorded. She is the best.
J
Brings back fond memories of my father telling me stories about his time in the Marines
kevin5301
I served on board the USS Tarawa for 1952 to 1956, during which time the members of the Air Department claimed Joni James as the sweet heart of the Tarawa, and sent off notice to her. She was kind enough to acknowledge our claim, and sent pictures and a letter of thanks. You could always hear Joni's records through out the ship. Thanks Joni for some wonderful memories. We still enjoy every recording she ever made!!
tommterry1
I was 17 and in the navy when I first heard her sing and loved her ever since ,I'm 71 now.
My dad listened to Joni James almost every day while I was growing up. That's why I love listening to her today.
tvmclau
Joni is one of my proofs that the music of the 40's and 50's was the best America ever produced.
jcgjud2
should have known Pandora would have wonderful Joni James! In the 9th grade, in Minnesota, going on the bus to the out of town athletic events, we would sing and the 7th grade girls told me I sounded just like Joni. What a thrill to have all those memories coming back!!
What a voice. You fall in love with her every time you hear her sing.
zenguil
great voice, lovable songs wont get tired listening to her the whole day.
t_heath
Nice voice, but I don't recall hearing her before...
i loved joni james since 1955 when i was in the marine corps. i still listen to her music today. thanks joni!
aBOUT THE ARTEST... wHAT ABOUT HER ALBUMS
I remember Ms. James from way back in the early 50's. She is my "girl" for sure.. I was only 23 at the time...I have admired her since her first song I heard. I love her. Seems like yesterday...
bobsoph
Joni is the best female singer of all time. She hits every note right on top.
Joni was always so perfect that I thought her recordings were all doctored in one way or another. Could anyone actually be that perfect? I NEVER could afford to collect her recordings, but I was one of her bigest fans, along with millions of other guys, I know.
cowinhand
joni james xmas carols are great
I'm named for Joni James!
When I was in high school I was absolutely in love with Joni James, so much so that I dated one girl primarily because she sounded like Joni when she sang. I still play her CD regularly.
one of my all time favorites-i have all her records & cds
marlene2430
My brother, Lou Colella, went to Bowen High School with Joni and I remember him telling me of the times they would sing together in school, and what a nice person she was. He also had a great voice and I wish I could have heard their duets.
wwwohl
Joni James is a remarkable Chicago music treasure shared all over the world. I was a fortunate young man to get the honor of meeting Joni James in the mid 90's; she had all of her vocal gifts ready to share with the world again and again! I was lucky to meet the one and only Joni, and be with her at her redebut concert in Chicago! Thank you to a great lady with a truly great voice!
I was raised in a small New England town restaurant in which Joni James records were constantly playing on the juke box. I was so taken in by her that I had Joni painted on the noise of one of my father's vehicles. I relive my youth every time I hear her
As fasr as I am concerned, there never was nor will there ever be, a more beautiful female voice . I could listen to her 24 / 7. I havge been in love with her since the eearly 1950's. I only wish she was still more active and in the public view.

Joe C from Tampa, Florida.
Who couldn't love Joni James? She was unique and with a very beautiful voice and great phrasing. I am so pleased and happy to have found her music on this amazing Pandora. How did I live before? I wish Joni James well wherever she is.
Barbara Gazich
Without a doubt as far as I'm concerned, Joni James was the best female vocalist of the 1950s.
Joni's "Why don't you believe me" & "Purple Shades" kept us going aboard
ship in 1952 & 53 until Korea was over --- Love that girl !!!!
this is great!
rmghera
Love Joni, always have, always will. James Dean
I love to hear Joni sing. Her voice is very clear and I can hear every word clearly, not garbled like some singers.Besi d e s , I am an old WWII vet, and can't hear too good. Thank's for sending her voice to me again.
Yes, another vet who listened to Joni records in Korea (1956-57). Also enjoyed her concert in Dover DE in '99 and got her to autograph an old 45 album. Ed
nfserena
I have just found pandora music and its great to be able to hear musicthat we grew up with. I also spent 4 years in the navy in the early 50's where Joni James songs were played many times each day on he ship's radio. Hearing these agaun, bring back found memories. Can you tell me where I can obtain her recodings of her early years. My email address is nfserena@gma i l . c o m . .
It is a shame we can't hear music like this daily. Joni James,Jane Froman,Jo Stafford,Dor i s Day, Patti Page,Dinah Shore, so many of them gone forever and never hearing them is heartbreakin g . . . . . . Daisy
I love the music of Joni James and have been a big fan of hers since 1952.
She was huge during my military year from 1953 until 1957. I have just signed on to this pandora music. I see great songs and great albums but I can not get any of them to play except for a short sample. If someone would e-mail me and tell me how I get this music to play I would appreciate it. My address is rjwhite2@bel l s o u t h . n e t . Thanks and Joni James is the greatest.
We allways love Joni growing up in the Great 50's and was glad to see her in "Westbury Music Fair" a few years back. Would love to see & hear again..
Marino"Santa " DiLeo, USS Intrepid CVA11
I was in the Navy during the Korean War The songs that were sung by Joni James
and Eydie Gorme, gave us all many HAPPY moments. I love both of these ladies.
God Bless Them........ U n c l e Lou
genehar
Wonderful music!!!!
still sounds great after all these years
would like to hear WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE ME

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