Kay Kyser

Genres: Big Band & Swing Musicals & The Arts
Tags: jazz swing 40s jazz vocal big band 50s oldies Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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James King Kern Kyser, 18 June 1906, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA, d. 23 July 1985, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. A popular band leader in the USA during the 30s and 40s, Kyser was born into an academically excellent family, and he too became a ‘professor’, though hardly in the conventional sense. While at high school he developed a flair for showmanship, and entered the University of North Carolina in 1924 with the intention of studying law. The subject was soon discarded in favour of music, and Kyser took over the leadership of the campus band from Hal Kemp when Kemp departed to form one of the most popular ‘sweet’ bands of the 30s. Kyser was soon on the road himself, and in 1927 he recruited George Duning, a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, as the chief arranger of what was originally a jazz unit. This turned out to be a smart move, because Kyser could not read or write a note of music. Duning stayed with the Kyser...

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