Kay Starr

Picture of Kay Starr

Kay Starr started her singing career at an early age.  When she was just 7 years old she won a bunch of talent contests held by a Dallas radio station. As a result, she was given a weekly 15-minute radio show where she sang country and pop tune accompanied by a piano.

At the age of 15, while living in Memphis, she was heard on the radio by Joe Venturi who needed a female vocalist for his Orchestra.  While performing with his band, Starr's parents insisted to having a midnight curfew for their daughter.

Word got around about Starr's talent and by 1939 she had recorded some sides with Bob Crosby and Glenn Miller.  She didn't really fit into Miller's band well.  She was hired as a "fill-in" for Marion Hutton who was dealing with some health issues at the time.  Starr can be heard on the Miller tunes "Baby Me" and "Love with a Capital You".  Overall, the key that Miller's band played in, didn't mesh well with Kay's vocal range.

Starr went on to finish high school and joined Wingy Manone's band in 1943.  Later in 1943, Kay moved on to Charlie Barnet's Orchestra where, in my opinion, she did some of her best work.  Barnet's music and style were a perfect match for her voice.  She also began to record as a soloist at that time as well.  Starr would go on to record with some of the bigger names of the 1940's and 50's.

Listen to: Kay Starr sing "The Best Things In Life Are Free" from Dec of 1947.

Kay had a fantastic solo career!  She had many hits and appeared on the Pop, Country and Jazz top selling charts.  She remained active in music all the way up to 2016.

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