|The most productive period for Jill during her tenure with Columbia Records was from late 1956 through the summer of 1957. I Love My Baby, Harry Warren's delightful 20's-era tune was Jill's first major song hit. She would sing it on the Ed Sullivan Show on January 20, 1957. In March, Jill would introduce Let It Be Me on the CBS anthology series Climax, and that too would make the pop music charts of the day. However, the summer of 1957 would bring Jill the biggest song hit of her career. Introduced on another CBS-TV anthology series called Studio One Summer Theatre, the audience would only hear Jill sing Love Me to Pieces, because she could not appear in the play. By the time of the live broadcast that summer Jill was touring the country in regional theater. Only her recording, released by Columbia on June 24th, would be heard during the course of the television production, but that was sufficient to send sales of Love Me to Pieces rapidly accelerating toward the million mark.
|As a reward for Jill's success during that 1956-57 season, Columbia presented their young star the opportunity to produce her first and only LP album for the company. The word produce is important, because Jill was essentially given carte blanche by Columbia to assemble an album entirely of her own choosing. Jill seized the opportunity and created a concept album which even after some fifty years stands unique in several respects. First, she chose to place six light and frothy 1920's and depression era tunes on side one of the album, backing those with six ballads and torch songs on the other. Nowhere on the jacket of the album, nor on the inside liner for that matter, was there any indication of the actual contents of the disc. For that one would have to remove the record physically from both the album jacket and its liner and carefully read the label on the disc. To those already familiar with Jill's artistry this lack of readily accessible information did not present an impediment. For others who did not know Jill before they came upon the album in a record store, the cover artwork alone could, and no doubt did, stimulate sales. Jill's sweet smile reflecting the happy songs on the album greeted the viewer on one side of the record jacket, while her melancholy yet hauntingly beautiful Mona Lisa-like countenance graced the back of the album.
|Columbia would subsequently release an abridged version of the album in the form of the two extended play 45 rpm recordings pictured here. Since a 45 EP, as they were then called, could accommodate only four songs, two of the original happy songs, Last Night on the Back Porch and I Double Dare You, were omitted in the abridged version. Similarly, He Was Too Good to Me and Gee, I Hate to Go Home Alone were omitted from the EP of blue songs shown below.
|The Australian version of the Sometimes I'm Happy side of the original LP, released there on the Coronet label, had an entirely different picture of Jill gracing its cover. So far as we can determine, no equivalent Sometimes I'm Blue EP was ever released in Australia.
|Sometimes I'm Happy, Sometimes I'm Blue was finally released here in its entirety on CD in November of 2003 by Collectable Records, together with six additional songs Jill recorded for Columbia during the 1950's. Click here for the story of the CD and where it may be purchased. (We wish to thank friend of this website and skilled professional Mr. John Greenstreet for his assistance in enhancing the images appearing on this page. AJK)
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