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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 high school, 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) s...


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