I still have a couple more singers from the pre-rock & roll portion of the Baby Boom years, so let’s get started on them, shall we?
Billie Holiday said that Kay Starr was the only white woman who could sing the blues. Considering Ms. Holiday was maybe the best female blues and jazz singer in history, I’d say that was pretty high praise. Fact was, whether she was singing pop, jazz, or country, Kay Starr sold a lot of records in the Forties and Fifties.
She’s best known for two songs she sang during the Fifties that ended up as #1 hits. The first is 1952’s “Wheel of Fortune,” which spent eleven weeks at the top of the charts and earned Ms. Starr a gold record. It was featured prominently in the movie L. A. Confidential.
Her second #1 was 1955’s “Rock and Roll Waltz.” It spent six weeks at #1 in early 1956 and was also a #1 hit in the UK for one week that year. She earned her second gold record with this one. It was covered in the early Sixties by Ann-Margret and Annette Funicello.
Ms. Starr died in 2016 at the age of 94 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Kay Starr, your Two for Tuesday, January 2, 2018.