Miss Jill Corey
What's New
NEW FOR THE SPRING 2017:  Dr. David Soren, Professor of Antropology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, informs us of their newly launched website titled The American Vaudeville filled with the histories of performers who made the institution an unforgettable part of the twentieth century popular entertainment in this country.  Featured among the well-known names so familiar to many of us is our own Jill Corey.  Click here to visit the website and click here to visit the page devoted to the life and career of Jill Corey. 


Nearly sixty-two years after her debut on NBC television, October 2, 1953, as resident singer on the new Dave Garroway Show (see below), and through the concerted efforts of classic popular music enthusiast Alan Eichler, Jasmine Records in the U.K. have released (June 2015) a new two-CD set of Jill's entire catalog of singles that she recorded during the 1950's and 1960's. 

The following is from the Jasmine description of their new release: 
• Jill Corey was one of the brightest singing stars of the 1950s; she was featured on the cover of Life Magazine while still in her teens and quickly became a sought-after guest on all of the biggest TV variety shows. She was a regular on “The Johnny Carson Show” and “Your Hit Parade” and headlined top theatres and nightclubs. 
• While several of her albums have been reissued, this is the first collection to focus on her singles. 
• Includes the hits: “Love Me to Pieces”; “Rose of Calvary”; “I Love My Baby”; “Cry Me a River”; “Big Daddy” and “Let It Be Me”. 


For a complete listing of tracks on this two-CD set see the Jasmine website or Amazon.com.  For some very nice reviews of this new release click here.   Here is what Dan Singer had to say about the new release writing in InTune magazine in the U.K.: 
Jasmine 817 www.jasmine-records.co.uk 
Finally on 2 CDs Jasmine has responded to many of her fans 
and released Jill Corey’s complete singles collection -- 59 
songs where she can be heard to great advantage. There are 
many different singing styles here recorded between 1953 and 
“I’m Not At All In Love” (Adler/Ross) from the 1954 Broadway 
show “The Pajama Game” is sweeping and most upbeat. Jill 
really gets wonderfully carried away here. “Nobody’s Heart” 
(Rodgers/Hart) from the 1942 Broadway show “By Jupiter” is 
expressively performed. With Ray Conniff’s arrangement they 
together create a magical musical masterpiece. Jimmy 
Maxwell’s outstanding trumpet heralds Jill’s smashing vocal of 
“Cry Me A River” (Hamilton). Here’s another example of the 
right song for the right singer. “Wait For Tomorrow” 
(Coleman/Ebb/Klein) features another jazz man, sax ace Willie 
Smith. Along with Buddy Cole’s arrangement, Jill will knock 
you out with her emotional deep vocal artistry. “I Love My 
Baby” ((Green/Warren) was a popular hit for her. This toe 
tapping ditty sweetly swings even today. 
Jill passionately sings the famous hit song “Let it Be Me” 
(Curtis/Becaud). On “I Feel Pretty” (Sondheim/Bernstein) 
she’s very high spirited indeed. “Exactly Like You” 
(Fields/McHugh) contains the rarely heard verse preceding a 
wild Dixieland arrangement. It’s most original. “My Reverie” 
(Clinton) is dramatically sung aided by some superb strings. 
Listen to her final note. It’s most amazing. She duets on 
“Jalopy Song” (Weiss/Styne) with Richard Hayes, a fine singer 
and talk radio host in New York and Philadelphia. It’s the song 
from “Freedomland U.S.A.” Both singers really swing here as 
does Frank DeVol. There is an extraordinary “Hit Parade” clip 
from 1957 that will just astound you. Jill sings “Fascination” 
(Marchetti/Feraudy/Manning) to an appreciative TV audience. 
She makes this unexciting song very listenable. It’s a real treat. 
This is a spectacular 2015 CD just for her fans. Bravo!
Classic Popular Music Lover Jeff Borger
Features Jill Corey in His Blog . . . 
Nostalgic Rambler 
Nostalgic ramblings and musings on Pop Americana of the 1940s to 1960s as seen through the time warped mind of Hans "Jeff" Borger. 
Flash! In addition to being an internet radio show, The Nostalgic Rambler can now be heard in Central Florida on Daystar 89.5 FM in Ocala every Saturday from 2-4pm EST. Worldwide you can listen on the internet at www.TheGeneMartinshow.com. Sundays at 1pm the show also airs on line only. Please tune in and let me know you are listening! 

Jill Corey is featured in the February 2014 column of Jeff's blog, which you can view by clicking here.  Jeff was formerly a host on a radio station featuring the Music of Your Life format and generously contributes this short promotional clip recorded by Jill for the network of Music of Your Life stations.

Jeff Borger
Jasmine Records in the U.K. Release Christmas CD Set Which 
Includes Two Recordings by Jill Corey from 1953
Robert Nickora has alerted us to the release on October 10, 2013, by Jasmine Records in the U.K. of their latest compilation of rare reissues for the Christmas season, The Sounds of Christmas, Rare Holiday Gems.  Complete details can be found on the Jasmine website here or on Amazon.com.  Included in the set are two songs recorded by Jill in the fall of 1953 during her second studio session for Columbia Records, when she was just eighteen.  Jill's versions of Silent Night and The First Christmas (composed by Dimitri Tiompkin of movie music fame) were not released by Columbia in the usual manner at the time but included as a premium with the December issue of Woman's Home Companion magazine in the form of a paper-thin, seven-inch 78-rpm record.  Ironically, many of these have survived over the years, but the audio quality of the several your editor has found on eBay has always been very poor, so this release of digitally- enhanced versions of these two Christmas songs by Jill will certainly be welcomed by her fans.
Jill Corey Career Memorabilia Donated to the University of Arizona 
The entire archive of Jill Corey career memorabilia is now housed at the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona as an integral part of their American Vaudeville Museum, which includes similar collections of  material from such notable entertainers of the past as Jo Stafford, Paul Weston and Nelson Riddle.  Jill's collection includes her many press photos, critics' reviews, correspondence, sheet music from her several hit recordings and countless magazine articles about Jill in the contemporary press during the height of her career as a popular singer and television icon of the 1950's.  Click here to read the official University of Arizona press release concerning their acquisition of the Jill Corey collection in early March 2011.
Released in the U.S. on November 17, 2009 by Submarine Records from the U.K. is a great new complilation disc featuring four complete syndicated radio shows that Jill did with Billy Maxted and the Manhattan Jazz Band in the late 1950's.  The CD is available at Amazon.com and CD Universe.  The editorial review which appears in the listing on Amazon.com is glowing: 

Editorial Reviews 
Product Description 
This CD contains four complete programs made for U.S. National Guard recruitment and features Billy Maxted's Manhattan Jazz Band, a swinging traditional band which was equally at home performing items such as Gin Mill Blues or Milneburg Joys as more laid back numbers such as Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's Satin Doll. The vocalist on these sessions was the superb Jill Corey, a singer who was more than the equal of most of her contemporaries, who handles a song in a fine and precise manner. Tracks include: Milenberg Joys, When I Fall In Love, The Song Of The Wanderer, Cock Eyed Optomist, Up A Lazy River, I've Got The World On A String, Satin Doll, The Trolley Song. 

And this review by Dan Singer in his column, Singer's Singers, in the July 2010 issue of In Tune International magazine published in the UK is equally glowing: 

Hear is a rare opportunity to finally hear Jill before a live audience on some eight songs and some commercials for the National Guard.  These four complete fifteen-minute National Guard radio shows were called Let's Go to Town and featured upbeat, toe-tapping dixieland songs by the Billy Maxted Manhattan Jazz Band.  

When I Fall in Love (Young/Heyman) is dramatically sung with its rarely heard verse.  It's a treat to listen to this standard sung in full throttle with all of its meaning intact.  A Cockeyed Optimist (Rogers/Hammerstein) is swung uniquely.  She even adds a delightful single line on Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Rogers/Hammerstein), proving quality, not quantity abounds.  Bye, Bye Blackbird (Henderson/Dixon) is given an unusually delightful take with a great change in beat midway that will surprise everyone.  There are even some especially written lyrics for the occasion. 

I've Got the World on a String (Arlen/Koehler) is sung in a single chorus go-around containing a strong upbeat vocal. Something's Coming (Bernstein/Sondheim) showcases her unbelievable dramatic style in this famous Broadway standard.  The Trolley Song (Blane/Martin) has a wide-awake zippy rendition.  Jill is brisk in a thundering take.  But Not for Me (Gershwins) is sung to the hilt.  She treats this song in a once-in-a-lifetime soft, moody dramatic reading.  You'll never forget it.  Big Daddy (Pockriss/Udell) is lots of fun.  It's a rocker - even with a twingling rock-and-roll piano.  It's great that these rare obscure shows, originally aired only once for a month on the radio, are finally available for us on CD.  As a bonus there's a wonderful photo of Jill on the cover.

Just released in May 2007 by the AUDIOPHONIC Rare Music Division is a new two-CD set, Little Girl Blue, featuring the delightful Jill Corey.  Singing professionally by age 14, Jill signed with Columbia Records at 17 and debuted on national television as lead singer on the Dave Garroway Show just two days following her eighteenth birthday.  The meteoric rise of one of the great singing stars of the 50’s is chronicled in this two-CD set of beloved standards, including I’m Just a Little Girl, the Trolley Song and, of course, the title tune, all of which Jill sang on her many syndicated radio programs heard throughout the decade.  



The CD set is currently available online from World Records or through 69th Avenue Recording (info@69avenue.com) and through other outlets traditionally featuring classic reissues. 

         Finally!  This legendary 1958 LP is now available on CD, along with six bonus tracks!
This writer does not live close to the major metropolitan areas where Miss Corey's second career as a cabaret singer has flourished in recent years.  (See the glowing accounts of the critics on our Reviewspage.)  However, we did have the good fortune to come of age during those Fabulous Fifties, when we were in an ideal position to follow the personal triumphs of this lovely, talented lady from Avonmore, Pennsylvania, on television and on record, as the decade and her career progressed.   

It was the summer of 1958, fresh from high school graduation and preparing to enter college, when we purchased the original Columbia Records LP Sometimes I'm Happy, Sometimes I'm Blue.  At the time the typical price of a pop LP was a mere $3.98  In retrospect we must consider this minor expenditure at the time as the best investment in entertainment this writer has ever made.   Even after forty-five years we continued to enjoy this delightful album, albeit with the inevitable pops and crackles of  well-worn vinyl.  Almost as if it were yesterday, we can still recall the words of a local disc jockey who had played all six Sometimes I'm Happy selections from the LP in succession.  Never, he said, did anything in his experience elicit such immediate and enthusiastic response from his radio audience! 

Now we have a wonderful digitally remastered version of Sometimes I'm Happy, Sometimes I'm Blue on CD!  The liner notes of the new CD begin:  Jill Corey was an energetic, effervescent, happy-go-lucky young charmer, simply bursting with gleeful delight.  Nowhere is this more evident than in her treatment of six familiar songs with the distinct flavor of the Roaring Twenties - but with Miss Corey's unique imprint on each and every one.  The listener simply can't avoid hearing the smile in her voice as Jill romps through these delightful tunes that comprise Sometimes I'm Happy. 

But life does not always bring happiness.  There are the sad moments too, and in Sometimes I'm Blue Miss Corey proves she's well equipped  to comment on those as well - through the words of  Irving Berlin,  Lorenz Hart and others -  in her very own poignant, heart-rending mezzo.  Even here, at the tender age of twenty-three, there is ample evidence of her ability to excel in this genre, and it portends those comparisons to Garland and Piaf that came so often later in life in her caberet performances. 

The original twelve selections in the Sometimes I'm Happy, Sometimes I'm Blue LP have been augmented on the CD with six more - consistent with the original dual themes of the album.  Among these is our personal favorite, Exactly Like You, which was released as a single by Columbia in 1957.  There is also a perfectly beautiful rendition of  My Reverie sung to a gentle Latin beat. 

Obviously we must admit to a personal bias here, but we heartily recommend this new CD to anyone who appreciates those products of the legends of the Golden Age of popular music as interpreted by one delightful and gifted singer.  The CD may be ordered through your local Borders or Barnes and Noble book store or online at Amazon. com, or Oldies.com    To learn more of the story of the original 1958 LP and Jill's central role in its creation click here 


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