Joni James

Joni James

born on 22/9/1930 in Chicago, IL, United States

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Joni James

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Joni James

Joni James (born Giovanna Carmella Babbo, September 22, 1930, Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer of traditional pop music.


James was born into an Italian family in Chicago. As an adolescent, she studied drama and ballet, and on graduating from Bowen High School, located in the South Chicago neighborhood, went with a local dance group on a tour of Canada. She then took a job as a chorus girl in the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. After doing a fill-in in Indiana, she decided to pursue a singing career. Some executives at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) spotted her in a television commercial, and she was signed by MGM in 1952. Her first hit, "Why Don't You Believe Me?" sold over two million copies. She had a number of hits following that one, including "Your Cheatin' Heart" (a cover of Hank Williams' hit) and "Have You Heard?"

She was the first American to record at London's Abbey Road Studios, and recorded five albums there. She was also very popular across parts of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Philippines where she performed at Manila's now defunct EM Club in 1957. She also scored a big hit in Manila with Filipino composer Salvador Asuncion's work entitled "In Despair."

James had seven Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Why Don't You Believe Me?" (#1 in 1952) "Have You Heard?" (#4 in 1953) "Your Cheatin' Heart" (#2 in 1953) "Almost Always" (#9 in 1953) "My Love, My Love" (#8 in 1953) "How Important Can It Be?" (#2 in 1955) and "You Are My Love" (#6 in 1955) as well as sixteen other Top 40 hits from 1952 to 1961. She has sold more than 100 million records and recorded more than 25 albums.

James married composer-conductor Tony Acquaviva at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York in 1956.[1] In 1964 she retired from the music industry in part because Acquaviva was in bad health and needed her attention.[1] She cared for him until his death in 1986.

In 1986 she met, and on October 5, 1997, she married retired Air Force General Bernard Adolph Schriever, 20 years her senior, the leader of the crash program that developed U.S. ballistic missiles — both ICBMs and IRBMs in 1953-1962.[2] They honeymooned in France and the Greek Isles, then took up residence in Schriever's home in northwest Washington, D.C. Schriever died on June 20, 2005, at the age of 94.

For many years she was out of the public eye, but began touring again in the mid 1990s some years after Acquaviva's death,[3] performing memorable concerts at New York's Town Hall, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. In October, 2001, just a few weeks after 9/11, she appeared at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, accompanied by the Count Basie orchestra. The streets of the city were still lined with armed soldiers, and she was a guest of honor at the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Tribute to Barbra Streisand.[4] With her renewed popularity, nearly her entire body of work was released on the Capitol-EMI, DRG and Taragon labels under her personal supervision[4] and in 2000 she released a brand-new recording, "Latest and Greatest".[5]

For her contributions to the entertainment industry, James has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[6]

Hit Records

Year Single Chart positions
U.S. UK[7]
1952 "Why Don't You Believe Me" 1 11
"Purple Shades" 26
1953 "Have You Heard" 4
"Wishing Ring" 17
"Your Cheatin' Heart" 2
"Almost Always" 9
"Is It Any Wonder" 16
"My Love My Love" 8
"You're Fooling Someone" 11
"I'll Never Stand In Your Way" 23
"Nina Non" 27
1954 "Maybe Next Time" 22
"Am I In Love" 22
"In a Garden of Roses" 22
"Mama Don't Cry At My Wedding" 23
"When We Come of Age" 28
1955 "How Important Can It Be?" 2
"You Are My Love" 6
"My Believing Heart" 49
1956 "Don't Tell Me Not To Love You" 83
"I Woke Up Crying" 72
"Give Us This Day" 30
"How Lucky You Are" 70
1957 "Summer Love" 97
1958 "There Goes My Heart" 19
1959 "There Must Be a Way" 33 24
"I Still Get a Thrill" 51
"I Still Get Jealous" 63
"Are You Sorry?" 102
"Little Things Mean a Lot" 35
"I Laughed At Love" 108
1960 "I Need You Now" 98
"You Belong To Me" 101
"My Last Date (With You)" 38

Various Singles

  • "Almost Always" / "Is It Any Wonder?" MGM 11470 (1953)
  • "Give Us This Day" / "How Lucky You Are" MGM 12288 (1956)
  • "Have You Heard?" / "Wishing Ring" MGM 11390 (1953)
  • "How Important Can It Be?" / "This Is My Confession" MGM 11919 (1955)
  • "My Believing Heart" / "You Never Fall In Love Again" MGM 12126 (1955)
  • "My Love, My Love" / "You're Foolin' Someone" MGM 11543 (1953)
  • "There Goes My Heart" / "Funny" MGM 12706 (1958)
  • "There Must Be a Way" / "Sorry For Myself" MGM 12746 (1959)
  • "Why Don't You Believe Me?" / "Purple Shades" MGM 11333 (1952)
  • "You Are My Love" / "I Lay Me Down To Sleep" MGM 12066 (1955)
  • "Your Cheatin' Heart" / "I'll Be Waiting Fof You" MGM 11426 (1953)
  • "You're Nearer" / "You're My Everything" MGM 30829 (1954)


  • "Bossa Nova Style" MGM 4286 (1965)
  • "Why Don't You Believe Me?" Bygone Days BYD77053 (2010)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Roura, Phil, One From Her Heart Joni James Returns To The Spotlight, New York Daily News, 22 September 1996. URL accessed on 14 July 2009.
  2. Sheehan, Neil (2009). A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon, p. 47275, New York: Random House.
  3. Bell, Bill, Joni James: A Melancholy Baby Returns, New York Daily News, 28 October 2000. URL accessed on 14 July 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Album notes, "Why Don't You Believe Me?", Joni James, BYD77053
  5. joni james cds: Music. (2009-09-09). Retrieved on 2011-11-10.
  6. Joni James at the Notable Names Database
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.

External links

This page was last modified 30.12.2013 01:21:08

This article uses material from the article Joni James from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.