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Joni James
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American singer
Is Singer
From United States of America
Field Music
Gender female
Birth 22 September 1930, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Age 91 years
Star sign Virgo
Traditional pop music
The details (from wikipedia)


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

Early life

Joni James was born as Joan Carmella Babbo on September 22, 1930, to an Italian-American family in Chicago. She is one of six children supported by her widowed mother. 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, James 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.

Personal life

James married composer-conductor Tony Acquaviva at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City in 1956. In 1964 she retired from the music industry in part because Acquaviva was in bad health and needed her attention. 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. 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.

Later life

For many years James was out of the public eye but began touring again in the mid-1990s some years after she was widowed, 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. With her renewed popularity, nearly her entire body of work was released on the Capitol-EMI, DRG, and Taragon labels under her personal supervision and in 2000 she released a brand-new recording, "Latest and Greatest".

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


Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Chart positions Album 
1952 "Let There Be Love"
   Let There Be Love 
"You Belong to Me"
   Non-album tracks 
"Why Don't You Believe Me?" / 11 Joni James' Award Winning Album 
"Purple Shades" 26   
1953 "You're My Everything"
 24  Let There Be Love 
"Have You Heard?" /  Joni James' Award Winning Album 
"Wishing Ring" 17 21  
"Your Cheatin' Heart"
"Almost Always" / 16  
"Is It Any Wonder?" 16 27  
"My Love, My Love" / 13  
"You're Fooling Someone" 11 21  Award Winning Album Vol. 2 
"I'll Never Stand in Your Way" / 23 22  Non-album tracks 
"Why Can't I"  30  Non-album tracks 
27 27  Merry Christmas from Joni 
1954 "Maybe Next Time" / 22 33  Non-album track 
"Am I in Love" 22 23  Let There Be Love 
"In a Garden of Roses" / 22 23  Award Winning Album Vol. 2 
"Every Day" 23 48  Non-album tracks 
"Mama Don't Cry at My Wedding" / 23 19  Non-album tracks 
"Pa Pa Pa"  42  Non-album tracks 
"When We Come of Age"
28 19  Joni James' Award Winning Album 
1955 "The Moment I Saw You"
 48  Non-album tracks 
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
   Merry Christmas from Joni 
"How Important Can It Be?"
 Joni James' Award Winning Album 
"When You Wish upon a Star" /  48  Award Winning Album Vol. 2 
"Is This the End of the Line"  23  Non-album track 
"You Are My Love"
11  Non-album track 
"My Believing Heart"
49 31  Joni James' Award Winning Album 
1956 "Danny Boy"
   Joni James Sings Irish Favorites 
"Don't Tell Me Not to Love You"
83   Non-album tracks 
"I Woke Up Crying"
72 37  
"Give Us This Day" / 30 30  Give Us This Day 
"How Lucky You Are"
70   Award Winning Album Vol. 2 
"Love Letters"
   Non-album tracks 
1957 "Only Trust Your Heart"
"Summer Love"
1958 "Nothing Will Ever Change"
"Love Works Miracles"
"Junior Prom"
"There Goes My Heart"
19 21  More Joni Hits 
1959 "There Must Be a Way"
33 28 24 
"I Still Get a Thrill"
51 45  
"I Still Get Jealous"
63 66  
"Are You Sorry?"
102 106  
"Little Things Mean a Lot" / 35 54  
"I Laughed at Love" 108 123  
1960 "I Need You Now" / 98 tag  Non-album tracks 
"You Belong to Me" 101 114  Award Winning Album Vol. 2 
"We Know"
 124  More Joni Hits 
"My Last Date (With You)"
38 54  Non-album tracks 
"Be My Love"
1961 "Theme from 'Carnival'"
"I Gave My Love"
   Folk Songs By Joni James 
"Somebody Else Is Taking My Place"
 123  Non-album tracks 
1962 "I Almost Lost My Mind"
   After Hours 
"Tender and True"
   Non-album track 
"You Are My Sunshine"
   Country Style 
"Anyone But Her"
 126  Non-album tracks 
1963 "He Says the Same Things to Me"
"Red Sails in the Sunset"
   Like 3 O'Clock in the Morning 
1964 "Teach Me to Forget You"
   Non-album tracks 
"Break My Heart"
"Pearly Shells"
   Beyond The Reef 
"Sentimental Me"
   Non-album track 
"Once I Loved"
   Bossa Nova Style 
1965 "There Goes My Heart"
   More Joni Hits 


  • "Let There Be Love" MGM (1954)
  • "Joni James' "Award Winning Album"" MGM 3346 (1954)
  • "Little Girl Blue" MGM (1955)
  • "When I Fall in Love" MGM (1955)
  • "In the Still of the Night" MGM (1956)
  • "Songs by Victor Young and Songs by Frank Loesser" MGM (1956) – later reissued as "My Foolish Heart"
  • "Merry Christmas from Joni" MGM (1956)
  • "Give Us This Day" (Songs of Inspiration) MGM (1957)
  • "Sings Songs by Jerome Kern and Songs by Harry Warren" MGM (1957)
  • "Among My Souvenirs" MGM (1958)
  • "Je T'aime... I Love You" MGM (1958)
  • "Songs of Hank Williams" MGM (1959)
  • "Joni Swings Sweet" MGM (1959)
  • "Joni Sings Irish Favo(u)rites" MGM (1959)
  • "100 Strings and Joni" MGM 3755 (1959)
  • "Joni at Carnegie Hall" MGM (1960)
  • "I'm In the Mood for Love" MGM (1960)
  • "100 Strings & Joni In Hollywood" MGM (1960) – also known as "Joni Sings Hollywood"
  • "One Hundred Voices... One Hundred Strings & Joni" MGM (1960) – also stylized as "100 Voices, 100 Strings & Joni"
  • "100 Strings & Joni On Broadway" MGM (1960)
  • "The Mood is Blue" MGM (1961)
  • "The Mood is Romance" MGM (1961)
  • "The Mood is Swinging" MGM (1961)
  • "Folk Songs by Joni James" MGM (1961) – also known as "Joni Sings Folksongs"
  • "Ti Voglio Bene... I Love You" MGM (1961)
  • "Joni After Hours" MGM (1962)
  • "I'm Your Girl" MGM (1962)
  • "Country Style" MGM (1962)
  • "I Feel a Song Coming On" MGM (1962)
  • "Like 3 O'Clock in the Morning" MGM (1962)
  • "Something for the Boys" MGM (1963)
  • "Beyond The Reef" MGM (1964)
  • "Joni Sings the Gershwins" MGM (1964)
  • "My Favorite Things" MGM (1964)
  • "Put On A Happy Face" MGM (1964)
  • "Italianissima!" MGM (1964)
  • "Bossa Nova Style" MGM 4286 (1965)
  • "Why Don't You Believe Me?" Bygone Days BYD77053 (2010) – compilation
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Nov 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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