1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Kay Starr (born July 21, 1922)
Famous EASY-POP hit single during the 50s: Wheel of Fortune 1952
also Hoop-Dee-Doo and Bonaparte’s Retreat in 1950, Comes A-Long A-Love in 1952, Side by Side and Half a Photograph in 1953, If You Love Me and The Man Upstairs in 1954, Rock ‘n’ Roll Waltz in 1955.
Recording career with charted hits: 1948-1962 Record Labels: Capitol and RCA
Cherokee/Irish Kay Starr was born Katherine LaVerne Starks on an Indian reservation in Dougherty, Oklahoma. She started singing with Joe Venuti’s orchestra at age 15 and got a break with Glenn Miller’s orchestra, filling-in for an ailing Marion Hutton, before launching a solo career. She was comfortable in big bands, jazz, country, blues or pop and was especially fond of numbers with hand-clappin’ rhythm. She signed with Capitol records and in 1950 struck back-to-back gold with Bonaparte’s Retreat and the lively polka Hoop-Dee-Doo. Her biggest signature hit, Wheel of Fortune with its ‘click, click, click’ opening and brassy sound was prime 50s adult pop. Her controlled power and the strong emotional undertow in her voice made her an appealing live performer. She moved to RCA Victor records in 1955 and went straight to the top of the charts with Rock and Roll Waltz. In the 90s she performed with Helen O’Connell and Margaret Whiting in the oldies ‘3 Girls 3’ tour.