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Kay Starr

A solid jazz singer whose early recordings tended to be forgotten after her ascendancy into the commercial sphere during the mid-'50s, Kay Starr was among the first pop singers to capitalize on the "rock fad" with her 1955 novelty "Rock and Roll Waltz." Her biggest hit came with the era-defining "Wheel of Fortune," a prime slice of '50s adult pop with a suitably brassy reading. Born in Oklahoma, she moved to Dallas at a young age and made her debut on radio while still in school. A brief stay with Glenn Miller & His Orchestra precipitated her working with groups led by Bob Crosby, Joe Venuti, and finally Charlie Barnet. She recorded a few numbers with Barnet that earned her a solo contract with Capitol.

By 1948, Starr made her Your Hit Parade breakthrough with "You Were Only Foolin' (While I Was Falling in Love)." Subsequent hits like "Hoop-Dee-Doo," "Oh, Babe!," and "I'll Never Be Free" (the latter with Tennessee Ernie Ford) framed her in an emerging vein of the popular market that also looked back to traditional country and folk. In 1952, "Wheel of Fortune" became her biggest hit and one of the signature songs of the '50s pop sound. She struggled to reach a similar chart peak for several years afterwards, though "Comes A-Long A-Love" topped the British charts. With her move to RCA in 1955, the comical "Rock and Roll Waltz" spent several weeks at number one. It was her last major hit, followed by just one additional Top Ten entry, 1957's "My Heart Reminds Me." By the 1960s, she had begun to concentrate more on performing (especially in Las Vegas) than recording, despite moving back to Capitol in 1961. She subsequently played several oldies packages, including the 3 Girls 3 tour with Helen O'Connell and Margaret Whiting. Kay Starr died at her home in Los Angeles in November 2016; she was 94 years old. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Essential Masters

1. St. Louis Blues

2. If I Could Be With You

3. Stardust

4. Little White Lies

5. Memphis Blues

6. All Of Me (2013)

7. Blue And Sentimental

8. Love Me Or Leave Me (2013)

9. Riffin' The Scotch

10. Honeysuckle Rose (2013)

11. Where Or When

12. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home? (2013)

13. After You've Gone

14. Sweet Lorraine (2013)

15. I'm Confessin'

16. Who's Foolin' Who?

17. Stormy Weather

18. Just About Right For Me

19. It's A Lonesome Old Town (When You're Not Around)

20. Sunday

21. I Cried For You (2013)

22. The Very Thought Of You

23. Frying Pan (A Blues Sketch)

24. The Trolley Song

25. I Can't Get Started With You

x

Track List: Jazz Singer

1. I Never Knew (I Could Love Anybody Like I'm Loving You)

2. My Man

3. Breezin' Along With The Breeze

4. All By Myself

5. Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp Of Savannah)

6. Me-Too (Ho-Ho! Ha-Ha!)

7. Happy Days And Lonely Nights

8. I Only Want A Buddy (Not A Sweetheart)

9. Hummin' To Myself

10. My Honey's Lovin' Arms

11. Sunday

12. I Would Do Anything For You

x

Track List: Losers, Weepers

1. You Always Hurt The One You Love

2. I Should Care

3. I'm A Fool To Care

4. Don't Take Your Love From Me

5. When I Lost You

6. Only Forever

7. Gonna Get A Guy

8. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

9. I Miss You So

10. A Faded Summer Love

11. When A Woman Loves A Man

12. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

x

Track List: The Fabulous Favorites

1. Side By Side

2. So Tired

3. Mississippi

4. I'm The Lonesomest Gal In Town

5. Half A Photograph

6. Comes A-Long A-Love

7. Bonaparte's Retreat

8. Wheel Of Fortune

9. The Rock And Roll Waltz

10. Hoop-Dee-Doo

11. Allez-Vous-En

12. Foolin' Around

x

Track List: Tears & Heartaches Old Records

1. Tears And Heartaches

2. Talk, Talk, Talk

3. I Waited a Little Too Long

4. Never Dreamed I Could Love Someone New

5. Make The World Go Away

6. Flowers On The Wall

7. Old Records

8. I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)

9. I Know That You Know That We Know That They Know

10. Standing In The Ruins

11. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

x

Track List: Life Is A Ball

1. I'm Confessin

2. Who's Foolin' Who

3. Sunday

4. Sweet Lorraine

5. Stormy Weather

6. All Of Me

7. Dixieland Band

8. Frying Pan

x

Track List: It Had To Be You

1. The Missouri Waltz

2. 'Til I Waltz Again With You

3. Till We Meet Again

4. Stars Fell On Alabama

5. When A Woman Loves A Man

6. Goin' To Chicago Blues

7. Good And Lonesome

8. Half A Photograph

9. I Really Don't Want To Know

10. The Best Things In Life Are Free

11. It's The Talk Of The Town

12. Jamie Boy

13. Honey

14. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

15. Side By Side

16. The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

17. Rock And Roll Waltz

18. Lazy Bones

19. The Man Upstairs

x

Track List: Kay Starr: The Best Of The Standard Transcriptions

Disc 1

2. My Future Just Passed

3. What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry

4. Betcha I Get Ya

5. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen

6. Ain’t Misbehavin’

7. Honeysuckle Rose

8. What A Difference A Day Made

9. The Dixieland Band

10. There’s A Lull In My Life

11. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

12. A Woman Always Understands

13. It’s Whatcha Do With Whatcha Got

14. Pretty Baby

15. So Tired

16. Please Love Me

17. Them There Eyes

18. I’m The Lonesomest Gal In Town

19. If I Could Be With You

Disc 2

1. You’ve Got To See Mama Ev’ry Night

2. He’s A Good Man To Have Around

3. "It’s A Good Day"

4. The Best Things In Life Are Free

5. Leave Me A Memory Or Two

6. Mama Goes Where Papa Goes (Or Papa Won’t Go Out Tonight)

7. Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone

8. Vagabond Shoes

9. Nevertheless

10. Maybe You’ll Be There

11. He’s Funny That Way

12. Who Hit Me

13. For You

14. Down Among The Sheltering Palms

15. Was That The Human Thing To Do

16. You Broke Your Promise

17. Here I’ll Stay

18. It’s Too Soon To Know

19. Missouri Waltz (Hush-A-Bye Ma Baby)

20. Lonesome

21. Powder Your Face With Sunshine

x

Track List: Movin' On Broadway (2002 Remaster)

1. It's All Right With Me

2. Heart

3. On The Street Where You Live

4. Get Me To The Church On Time

5. I've Grown Accustomed To His Face

6. C'est Magnifique

7. Baubles, Bangles And Beads

8. I Love Paris

9. You're Just In Love

10. All Of You

11. The Party's Over

12. Just In Time

x

Track List: Blue Starr

1. Just Like A Butterfly

2. Blue Starr

3. You're Driving Me Crazy

4. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, And Me)

5. Little White Lies

6. It's A Lonesome Old Town (When You're Not Around)

7. Blue & Sentimental

8. I Really Don't Want To Know

9. This House Is Haunted (By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye)

10. Wedding Bells

11. It's Funny To Everyone But Me

x

Track List: I Cry By Night (With Bonus Tracks)

x

Track List: Side By Side

1. Am I A Toy Or A Treasure

2. Bonaparte's Retreat

3. Changing Partners

4. Comes A-Long A-Love

5. Georgia On My Mind

6. Good Book

7. If You Love Me Really Love Me

8. I'll Always Be In Love With You

9. I've Changed My Mind A Thousand Times

10. Jamie Boy

11. Little Loneliness

12. Love Ain't Right

13. Rock And Roll Waltz

14. Second Fiddle

15. Side By Side

16. The Rock And Roll Waltz

17. Things I Never Had

18. Wheel Of Fortune

x

Track List: I've Got To Sing 1944-48

1. I've Got To Sing

2. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

3. Maybe You'll Be There

4. It's A Great Feeling

5. He's Funny That Way

6. Sunday

7. Love Me Or Leave Me

8. Sweet Lorraine

9. Who's Foolin' Who

10. All Of Me

11. What Goes Up Must Come Down

12. My Future Just Passed

14. Betcha I Getcha

15. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

16. Ain't Misbehavin'

17. Honeysuckle Rose

18. What A Difference A Day Makes

19. The Dixieland Band

20. There's A Lull In My Life

21. Cabin In The Sky

22. S'posin

23. Don't Worry 'Bout Me

24. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight

25. Blame My Absent Minded Heart

26. Them There Eyes

27. You're Always There

28. Headless Horseman

29. I've Got To Sing (Reprise)

x

Track List: Them There Eyes

1. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight

2. You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night

3. Them There Eyes

4. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

5. Honeysuckle Rose

6. He's Funny That Way

7. Ain't Misbehavin'

8. Should I

9. Mama Goes Where Papa Goes

x

Track List: Capitol Collectors Series

1. I'm The Lonesomest Gal In Town

2. You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night

3. You Were Only Fooling

4. So Tired

5. Hoop Dee Doo

6. Bonaparte's Retreat

7. Mississippi

8. I'll Never Be Free

9. Wheel Of Fortune

10. I Waited A Little Too Long

11. Kay's Lament

12. Fool, Fool, Fool

13. Comes A-Long-A-Love

14. Side By Side

15. Half A Photograph

16. Allez-Vous-En

17. When My Dreamboat Comes Home

18. Changing Partners

19. The Man Upstairs

20. If You Love Me (Really Love Me)

21. Am I A Toy Or A Treasure

22. Lazy River

23. Foolin' Around

24. Crazy

25. The Rock And Roll Waltz

x

Track List: What A Difference A Day Made

1. The Dixieland Band

2. There's A Lull In My Life

3. Ain't Misbehavin'

4. What A Difference A Day Made

5. What Can I Say Dear After I Say I'm Sorry

6. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

7. What Goes Up Must Come Down

8. Honeysuckle Rose

9. My Future Just Passed

10. Betcha' I Getcha'

11. You're Always There

12. Don't Do Something To Someone Else

13. Blame My Absentminded Heart

14. It's A Great Feeling

x

Track List: Please Love Me

1. Them There Eyes

2. Nevertheless

3. It's A Good Day

4. Maybe You'll Be There

5. Pretty Baby

6. Please Love Me

7. Stars Fell On Alabama

8. The Best Things In Life Are Free

9. It Happens Every Spring

10. I Only Have Eyes For You

11. Leave Me A Memory Or Two

12. For The First Time

13. So Tired

14. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

x

Track List: Just Plain Country

1. Pins And Needles (In My Heart)

2. Crazy

3. Four Walls

4. My Last Date With You

5. Blues Stay Away From Me

6. Walk On By

7. Oh, Lonesome Me

8. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)

9. I Really Don't Want To Know

10. Singing The Blues

11. Don't Worry

x

Track List: Movin'

1. On A Slow Boat To China

2. I Cover The Waterfront

3. Around The World

4. Sentimental Journey

5. Night Train

6. Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend)

7. Goin' To Chicago Blues

8. Indiana (Back Home Again...)

9. Song Of The Wanderer

10. Swingin' Down The Lane

11. Lazy River

12. Movin'

x

Track List: Swingin' With Kay Starr

1. Sweet Lorraine

2. After You've Gone

3. I Cried For You

4. There's A Lull In My Life

5. Love Me Or Leave Me

6. All Of Me

7. Honeysuckle Rose

8. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home

9. I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)

10. St. Louis Blues

11. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All The Time)

12. Sunday

13. There's Yes, Yes In Your Eyes

14. Nobody's Sweetheart Now

16. More I Cannot Wish You

17. Three Letters

18. If Anyone Finds This (I Love You)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
My late husband knew her and we called her once but she said oh George, I don't want to talk about 'those days' anymore:...s h e was happily married at the time and still in good health. I'm sure she still had that wonderful voice.
Report as inappropriate
Pe
Report as inappropriate
She has such great range with her vocal cords. She can fit as many words as necessary into a line, so beautifully, and melodically. There has never been a singer , that's better than Kay Starr ! Some people sing with a stone heart , some sing with a flesh heart, she sings with a flesh heart. The flesh heart is filled with "The Spirit" , a God given gift. So blessed!
Report as inappropriate
I love "Release Me" , she's singing W/ Tennessee Earnie Ford . Great duo !
Report as inappropriate
She's. My favorite of all times !!! I love Wheel of Fortune !
Report as inappropriate
So very good
Report as inappropriate
quatroamigo
Her best was the rock & roll waltz
Report as inappropriate
rbrockish
Her best in my opinion was I'll Never Be Free
Report as inappropriate
drkling4914
What about Napoleons Retreat?
Report as inappropriate
The Best!
Report as inappropriate
cameld35
Learned to love her in the early '5os when she was billed as The Memphis Belle. My favorite-Bon a p a r t e s Retreat.
Report as inappropriate
A superb belter, with lots of power and an interesting style. She always reminded me of Dinah Washington in her vocalizing. I think she could have been even bigger than she was if someone had given her direction on stage presence. She moved her hands in a weird way. But who cares when you're listening to her unique voice?
Report as inappropriate
One of the best singers of the "fabulous fifty's"
Report as inappropriate
love her!
Report as inappropriate
Baaaaa
Report as inappropriate
jbokeefe9
Kay Starr is great, loved her songs in high school and still
love to hear them
Report as inappropriate
joburk223
I loved her song, "Wheel of fortune". Brings back lots of memories!

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