The Jo Stafford Show

1961 | United Kingdom

One of the major female recording artists of the (if not all) time, Jo Elizabeth Stafford (1917-2008) was an American singer of traditional pop music and jazz standards whose career ran from the late 1930s to the early 1960s by which time she had sold in excess of 25,000,000 records. Among her best sellers were Make Love To Me, Jambalaya, Temptation and You Belong To Me. 

On September 9, 1961 viewers caught their first glimpse of nine star-studded shows seen fortnightly. This was billed as the most ambitious series ever launched by a British television production company, the first international musical series incorporating artistes from Britain and America. Produced at ATV's Boreham Wood studios each show had a theme. The first show dealt with the basic difference in the English language as spoken in America and the UK. Guests in this show included Graham Stark and Peter Sellers. One show dealt with the subject of love and Stafford was joined by Ella Fitzgerald for a musical medley while Claire Bloom recited verse and Kathleen Harrison and George Benson performed in a sketch. 

Another show on travel starred Kenneth More who bought with him the vintage motor car 'Genevieve' as seen in the movie of the same name. Other guests included Roy Castle, Peter Lawford, Edd Byrnes, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Bob Hope, Benny Hill, Harry Secombe and Mel Torme. Other themes included the four seasons, chivalry and big bands. One show which was recorded at the London Palladium, starred Robert Morley, Stanley Holloway and Morecambe and Wise.

Published on December 28th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.