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Artist Details

Jonathan & Darlene Edwards
Contact:
Date Born/Group Began: 1957 (peterpuck9) 
Date Died/Group Ended: 1977 (peterpuck9) 
Also Known As:
Paul Weston and Jo Stafford (Traditionalist)
Members:
Darlene Edwards (Jo Stafford) (Vocals) From: Born 1917 To: Died 2008 (peterpuck9)
Jonathan Edwards (Paul Weston) (Piano) From: Born 1912 To: Died 1996 (peterpuck9)
Reviews:
Facts:
  • Darlene is really Jo Stafford (CapSuper)
  • See more about Jo Stafford (including pics) on her artist page. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • Paul Weston was music director of Capitol Records, when it started in the 1940's. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • For years, the Westons had privately developed for friends a comedy routine satirizing bad entertainers. Music executives urged them to record under their adopted persona of two clueless nightclub performers, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.

    The result was several hit records that triggered a national sensation: trying to identify the artists behind the brazenly off-key singing and piano-playing of dubious ability and taste.

    Some thought they were Margaret and Harry Truman, Time magazine reported.

    Their second release as the fictitious duo, "Jonathan and Darlene in Paris," won the 1960 Grammy for best comedy performance. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • Dr. Demento interviewed them on his 5/2/82 show. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • In 1950, when Ms. Stafford signed with Columbia Records, her manager negotiated a clause giving her rights to the master recordings. Because of that foresight, she had no trouble in later decades reissuing many of her hits through Corinthian Records, a company Weston started. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • Photos:

    Messages about the artist: "Jonathan & Darlene Edwards"

     
    johnph46   Offline  -  Donator  -  02-01-09 10:49 AM  -  10 years ago
    fiogf49gjkf0d
    Excerpted from the "Jonathan & Darlene Edwards Talks!" interview:

    I know your fans are pleased with it [Their version of "Stayin' Alive"]. Have you gotten much reaction?

    D.E.: Quite a bit.

    J.E.: The D.J., what's his name, Dr. Demento. He loved it and plays it a lot. But at the same time that he plays an awful lot of other stuff that sounds funny to me. I sort of resent our being in among that, rather than on a real good rock 'n' roll program where we belong. This Dr. Demento also made some rather disparaging comments. He thought we were great, but he called attention to some things he thought were mistakes that were really deliberate, imaginative outpourings on my part.
    Tim P. Ryan   Offline  -  Participant, MP3  -  07-19-08 11:28 AM  -  11 years ago
    fiogf49gjkf0d
    from L.A. Times obit page:

    Stafford and her second husband, pianist/composer Paul Weston, were viewed by most of their contemporaries as musical class acts who brought clarity, focus and sophistication to the most lighthearted pop music. Which made their transformation into Jonathan and Darlene Edwards -- a duo that was the surprising last highlight of Stafford's career -- such a remarkable accomplishment.

    The premise was simple enough: They would do imitations of a minimally skilled duet of singer and piano player -- the sort who can frequently be heard in no-cover-charge cocktail lounges everywhere. But as interpreted by Stafford's pliable voice, the songs came out just a little sharp in one spot, a bit flat in another, with the rhythm slipping from beat to beat.

    Did Stafford find it difficult to sing in such ear-jarring fashion? "Well, Jo Stafford might have found it difficult," she told the Chicago Tribune in 1988, "but Darlene had no problem at all."

    It worked so well, in fact, that the duo's recording of "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris" won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album of 1960. It was the only Grammy that Stafford would win.
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