She met up with manager Eddie Joy, who was impressed with the teenager's strong voice, and he subsequently set up a meeting with Charles Randolph Grean, a songwriter/producer (who had several years earlier written Phil Harris' hit novelty song "The Thing," Joan made a demo recording of "Marionette," a pop tune that revealed an emotionally weepy vocal approach, a bit exaggerated when compared to the other popular singers of the day. Grean, a producer and bandleader with RCA Victor, couldn't convince the label's executives to give her a shot, so he sent the demo to Mitch Miller, the head of artists and repertoire at Columbia Records.
Miller took a song entitled "Let Me Go, Devil" by Jenny Lou Carson and Al Hill and had it rewritten as "Let Me Go, Lover!" for Weber, who recorded it on the Columbia label. She recorded "Let Me Go Lover," backed by Jimmy Carroll and his orchestra, with songwriting credits going to Carson and the pseudoynm Al Hill in place of the trio of lyrics-revisers. It was released in November '54 with "Marionette" on the B side.
Mitch pulled some strings and suddenly Let Me Go Lover had become the title of an episode of Westinghouse Studio One, a long-running CBS anthology program. Broadcast on November 15, 1954, the teleplay concerned a disc jockey involved in a murder. Joan's recording of the song was featured six times during the episode in varying lengths ranging from excerpts to the entire song.
Miller, anticipating demand for the unique recording, had arranged for thousands of 45s and 78s to be shipped to record stores across the country prior to the airing. Immediately, his hunch paid off...the record began selling like crazy the very next day. To further promote the single, Joan, recently turned 19 and noticeably pregnant, made appearances on television variety shows including Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town in December.
Joan gave birth to her daughter while the record was cresting the charts. At the first opportunity, Miller got her back into the studio for a follow-up single, the Ivory Joe Hunter song "It May Sound Silly," a record survey no-show overshadowed by The McGuire Sisters' hit pop version and Hunter's R&B original. Momentum slipped away with successive efforts, varied in style and quality ("Lover-Lover," a misguided attempt at recapturing the magic of the first single, "Goodbye Lollipops, Hello Lipstick," a stab at the teen scene, and "Gone," a cover of Ferlin Husky's massive country and pop hit). By the time "Saturday Lover - Sunday Stranger" came out in the spring of 1957, it had become obvious a second hit wasn't in the cards.
After Columbia dropped her, she performed whenever possible in clubs and at minor events before abandoning what was left of her show business career.
Mitch Miller, in a 2004 interview for the Archive of American Television, recalled that Weber's husband assumed total control of the singer's activities, thus depriving Weber of experienced career guidance. Consequently the song was her only recording to chart. Columbia dropped her after her contract was up, because she could not promote her music and be a mother at the same time.
At some point it seemed as though Joan had vanished into thin air. No one at Columbia Records had a clue as to where she was. In 1969 the company mailed a royalty check to her last known residence, but it was returned stamped "address unknown." For years her whereabouts were a mystery until she turned up in a New Jersey mental facility sometime in the 1970s. In May 1981, while still institutionalized, Joan Weber died of heart failure. She was 45 years old...