Miss Jill Corey
A Potpourri in Words and Pictures
Click any image for more of the story or to view the picture in full size.
Shortly after Jill's debut on the Dave Garroway Show on NBC television, the November 20-26, 1953 issue of TV Guide, Pittsburgh edition, carried a special two-page feature introducing their readers to their hometown's new national celebrity.
The February 1954 issue of a pocket sized magazine called Show featured a four page, profusely illustrated article about our Jill, along with an abbreviated version of her Cinderella story.  This same photo of Jill was used in a short article titled Lightning Strikes for Teenager Jill Corey that appeared in the December 16, 1953 issue of Down Beat magazine.
The March 1954 issue of a magazine simply called TV  featured a five page article about Jill entitled This Is Cinderella.   The story documents Jill's early days in the Big Apple, while she was still residing at the Barbizon Hotel for Women.
This photo dating from 1954 shows an unidentified disc jockey interviewing Jill, presumably on tour of radio stations promoting her latest Columbia recording.  
The March 1954 and November 1957 issues of Hit Parader magazine featured articles about Jill and why her fans love her to pieces. Click here or the image at left to read both articles
This picture, along with its brief reference to the "teenage vocalist Jill Corey" appeared early in Jill's career, during the summer of 1954, when she was touring the Northeast with Nat King Cole and others (see next section) and also while she was a member of the cast of CBS radio's Stop the Music.  The following summer she would be named vocalist and comic foil on CBS television's Johnny Carson Show debuting in September of 1955. 
During the summer of 1954, a company of performers including established stars like Perry Como, Nat King Cole and Patti Page played to large audiences at Detroit's Briggs Stadium, Chicago's Soldier Field and Cleveland's Municipal Stadium on three successive evenings from July 23rd through July 25th.  Jill, not yet having completed her first year before the public, was one of the young up-and-coming stars among the ensemble.  From the gentleman who supplied us with this souvenir program and actually attended the concert in Cleveland, "It was a beautiful performance."
This feature appeared in an edition of TV Guide during the early 50's.  The exact date is unknown. 
This picture appeared in the April 1954 edition of a magazine called TV Carnival as part of a feature on several popular female singers of the day.  We are indebted to Mary Ellen Dudderar of Simpsonville, Maryland for providing us with this photograph. 
By December 1954 Jill had been appearing on national television and radio for over a year and had been featured in many magazine articles, so she had by then become a well-known personality.  As was the custom, such celebrity demanded exchange of seasonal greetings among friends and associates in the entertainment business of which Jill was by then most certainly a part.  Click the image at left and see the Christmas card Jill sent in 1954, as well as this one in the following year, 1955. 
When the Dave Garroway Show on NBC television completed its run in the spring of 1954, Jill immediately joined fellow singer Jack Haskell on Stop the Music on CBS radio.  The genial host of the radio show was Bill Cullen.   
Jill's picture appears on a website chronicling changes in women's hair styles over the years.   Her coiffure shown here is supposedly an example of those typical in 1955
The caption for this United Press photo dated June 24, 1955, states: 
During a coffee break Jill has a chance to chat with her manager Lloyd Leipzig.  Jill will be featured on the new Orson Bean television program this summer.  
The November 25, 1955, edition of TV-Radio Life, a weekly program guide for broadcast stations serving southern California, featured a full-page article on the Dangers of a Career Girl, sub-titled Jill Corey Is Young, She's Single, and She's Definitely a Career GirlClick here or on the image at left to read the full story.  
Jill sat for glamor photographer Peter Basch for a series of portraits.  Click the image at left to view two in the series.  
Sometime during the 1950's one of Jill's devoted fans presented Jill with this portrait of her in oils, using as his inspiration one of Jill's many publicity photos then in circulation. 
The June 1955 issue of Hit Parader magazine carried a two-page feature on a gala tribute to legendary disc jockey Martin Block on the occasion of his twentieth year in the business.  It was attended by many in the recording industry, including Jill, Perry Como and the Four Lads.  Perry Como hails from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, less than fifty miles from Jill's own hometown of Avonmore.  Jill toured with Perry during the summer of 1954.  Also attending the eight-hour event honoring Martin Block were the Four Lads, with whom Jill made two recordings, Do You Know What Lips are For? and Cleo and Meo early in her career. 
Jill's recording of Wait for Tomorrow was introduced on the January 4, 1956, episode of the U.S. Steel Hour on CBS television.  This full-page ad for the program and the new Columbia recording by Jill appeared in The Billboard magazine in advance of the program. 
This unusual publication consisted of full page portraits along with brief biographies of several singers who became well known via television during the decade of the 1950's.  We are a bit puzzled by the inclusion of the Mills Brothers, who certainly must have appeared on television many times prior to 1956, since they had been a well established singing group since the 1930's.
The TV Personalities Biographical Sketch Book, Vol. 2, was published in St. Louis in 1956.  It contained short biographies of hundreds of contemporary television personalities.  Because the bios were arranged alphabetically, Jill had the honor of placing next to Walter Cronkite, sometimes called the most trusted man in America.   Had Mr. Cronkite the opportunity of working with and getting to know Jill as well as we have over the past two years, we feel that he would agree that such honor was mutual. 
Jill's face and voice, so familiar to television viewers and radio listeners during the 1950's, were often used in commercials and advertisements in the print media.  Here Jill appears along with a host of other Columbia recording artists in a promotion for Telechron clock radios.  We're not sure of the exact origin, but from the size of the original full-page advertisement we suspect that the ad appeared in either LIFE or Look magazine, probably during the summer of 1956.   Jill's song Let Him Know, that is mentioned at the bottom of the page, was released by Columbia on July 27th of that year.
Jill also graced the pages of Downbeat magazine in this advertisement for AMI juke boxes.  The ad copy describes Jill as " . . . a fast rising singing star recording for Columbia Records.  Critics and noted orchestra leaders laud the versatility and unique personalized delivery of this young singer." 
In 1956, Mitch Miller and Columbia Records created an "original musical" featuring Jill Corey, Jerry Vale and the Michael Stewart Chorus.  In fact, it was nothing more than a glorified commercial for SAS, the Scandanavian airline.  Columbia issued a ten-inch LP which sold for a mere $1.00.  In 2003, Collectable Records would reissue the "musical" on CD (COL-CD-7596).  Click the image at left for a look at the original packaging and story.
In March 1956, the Sunday Coloroto Magazine of the New York Daily News carried a full page story about Jill, which  included this picture of Jill elegantly gowned in red. Click here or on the image at left to read the article.
Throughout her career during the 1950's Jill was known for her open, friendly personality, totally unaffected by her rapid rise to stardom.  This clipping from a contemporary magazine lends  credence to that proposition. 
Let's Go to Town was the name of just one of several syndicated radio shows Jill did for various governmental agengies from the mid-50's through the mid-60's.  Many, even including a series of fifteen minute television programs entitled The Jill Corey Show, were sponsored by the National Guard, and Jill eventually came to be called the sweetheart of the National Guard.   Click the image at left to learn more.  Click here to watch excerpts from the Jill Corey Show from 1956.
The September 1957 issue of  Teen Life magazine carried a three-page feature entitled Her Greatest Joy by Gail Winters, with several pictures of Jill at her loveliest.  Also included in the article is this caricature of Jill by cartoonist Milt Story.  Click here or on the image at left to see the entire article.
During Jill's long career as singer and actress, her picture often graced the covers of  popular magazines, frequently sharing the space with the faces of many of her contemporaries in show business.  However, on at least sixteen separate occasions Jill was the sole center of attention - the singular cover girl, and she started at the very top in this department with the cover of LIFE magazine on November 9, 1953.  Click on the image at left to page though all sixteen covers featuring our lovely Jill exclusively. 
The October 1957 issue of Datebook magazine, subtitled The World of Young Romance, featured Jill as guest editor of their advice column Cool and CorrectClick here or on the image at left to read Jill's sage advice to the magazine's young readers only a few years her junior.
On Friday, November 30, 1957, Jill appeared as guest on the Walter Winchell Show on NBC television in color singing the 1925 Harry Warren tune I Love My Baby, which would become Jill's biggest hit recording of her career to that date.  Also on hand that evening was the beloved Jimmy Durante.   Added 02/23/15
The November 1957 issue of TV Headliner magazine carried a lengthy article by Howard Rushmore entitled What Jill Wants, Jill Gets!  Click here or on Jill's image at left to read what Mr. Rushmore had to say about the fair Jill.
The October 1957 issue of TV Star Parade carried an extensive and reasonably accurate article by William Beeson chronicling Jill's life and career through September of that year, when Jill became lead singer on television's Your Hit Parade.  However, the author also mentions the release of Jill's first album entitled Ah, Love, which so far as we know never actually materialized.
The December 1957 issue of TV Star Parade magazine carried an article by Mollie Williams about Jill during her visit to family in her hometown of Avonmore, Pennsylvania.  Click on Jill's picture to read the story and see Jill, the Sentimental Tomboy, frolicing with her many nieces and nephews.
Jill and her views on a possible future mate were the subject of several magazine articles about the young star.  Click on Jill's picture at left and read Jim Shorser's story Wedlock, Anyone? which appeared in the January 1958 issue of TV Headliner.   The April-May issue of Pop Stars magazine carried an article by Toni Heller on the same subject entitled Lots of Men, But No Boys! Click here to read the entire story. 
We are unsure of the exact origin of this magazine photo, but we place it around 1957 or 1958.  The original caption read:  

Stage-door Johnnies pursue Jill Corey  as ardently now as in early recording days, but so far the lovely singer confesses she'd like to remain status quo.

Jill appears here with singer Alfred Drake, but the exact circumstances are unknown.   Jill did have to cancel an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show because of illness, and it is just possible that this photo was taken during rehearsals for that scheduled appearance.  Click here or on the image at left for a larger view of this photo along with several others of unknown history.   
The June 1958 issue of Teen magazine carried this photo of our Jill.  She had placed sixth in the magazine's poll of its readers' favorite singers, right after Doris Day and well ahead of several of her well known contemporaries, including Kay Starr, Connie Francis and Joni James. 
Jill was one of the most popular eligible young ladies on both coasts during her meteoric rise to stardom during the decade of the 1950's.  As a consequence, her dating was the subject of many contemporary magazine articles.  Click on Jill's picture at left and read an example from the February 1958 issue of TV World. Click here and read another such article from Pop Stars magazine published just two months later.
Author Helen Martin in the April 1958 issue of TV World magazine continues the analysis of Jill's popularity with her various pursuers but from a slightly different perspective - that of her beloved Poppa.   Unfortunately, Ms. Martin does not get all her facts straight, giving Jill two brothers and two sisters instead of three brothers and one sister.  She also lists Jill's birthday as September 20th instead of the actual date, September 30th! 
During the summer of 1959, the city of Pittsburgh held a three- month celebration in honor of the two-hundreth anniversary of the city's founding.  Many well-known personalities in the entertainment field, including several native to the city or to the immediate area, as in the case of our Jill, participated in the festivities.   Click here or on Pa Pitt's image at left to learn more.
The June 1960 issue of  a DC Comics publication entitled Pat Boone carried a one-page article about Jill recounting her often- told Cinderella story.  However, rather than using a stock photo, the editors chose to accompany the text with a sketch of Jill which in our opinion quite amply captures her natural beauty.  Click here or on the image at left to judge for yourself.
Columbia Records ran this full-page advertisement in the January 11, 1960, issue of the record industry trade magazine The Billboard.  It featured Jill along with several other Columbia recording artists.   The song by Jill promoted in the ad, I Can't Hide a Mountain, was recorded in June of the previous year and released by Columbia on December 14, 1959.
This is a restored Associated Press wirephoto dated July 22, 1960 that accompanied an article describing Jill's engagement to Antonio Tavares, a Brazilian vice consul based in Chicago.  Don Hoak's imaginative and relentless pursuit of Jill starting a few months later eventually led to Jill's breaking her engagement to the Brazilian diplomat. 
This publicity photo of Jill dating from around 1960 is one of many issued during the course of her early career. 
Dancer Carol Haney and Jill were both scheduled to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, April 10, 1960, as part of a tribute that evening to ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.  Click the image at left to view this CBS publicity picture along with the related promotional material distributed to affiliated stations and the press. 
IIn 1960, Jill was engaged for a time to diplomat Antonio Tavares, Brazilian Vice-consul, but the persistent and unusally creative pursuit of Jill by the then Pirates third-baseman Don Hoak resulted in Jill's eventually breaking her engagement to Tavares.  The rest, as is said, is history:  Jill became Mrs. Don Hoak just after Christmas in 1961.  
The June 1971 issue of TV-Radio Mirror carried this picture of Jill shortly after her appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as she attempted to restart her career following the untimely death of her husband Don Hoak.  Click here or on Jill's image at left to read more. 
Jill shares a warm embrace with comedian Judy Carne, formerly a member of the cast of NBC television's Laugh In, while Jill was appearing at a venue simply called The Ballroom
ThePhiladelphia Bulletin carried this story in the June 25, 1978 edition of the newspaper while Jill was appearing in Irma la Duce at the Playhouse in the Park in the City of Brotherly Love. 
This review appeared in a local Pittsburgh area newspaper following Jill's appearance in cabaret at the Cinegrill of the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles during her second career. 
Jill poses here early in her second career with the legendary New York-based celebrity interviewer Joe Franklin. 
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