Monday, 24 November 2014

The History Of Kitty Kalen

Kitty Kallen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kitty Kallen
Promotional Photo Of Kitty Kallen Circa 1956.jpg
Kitty Kallen 1956
Background information
Birth nameKatherine Kalinsky
BornMay 25, 1922 (age 92)
PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaUnited States
Genresjazzswingpop
Years active1939–1965
LabelsColumbia (1939–1948,1956–1959)
Decca (1940, 1953–1955)
Mercury (1949–1951)
RCA Victor (1963)
20th Century Fox (1964)
Kitty Kallen (born Katherine Kalinsky, May 25, 1922)[1] is an American popular singer whose career spanned from the 1930s to the 1960s – to include the Swing era of the Big Band years, the post-WWII pop scene and the early years of rock 'n roll. She is widely known for her 1954 solo recording '"Little Things Mean a Lot" — a song that stayed at the U.S. number one spot for nine consecutive weeks, charted in the U.S. for almost seven months, hit #1 on the UK singles chart, and sold more than two million copies. AllMusiccalled the recording a "monster hit,"[1] and music historian Jonny Whiteside said the song "ably characterizes Kallen’s impressive, and graceful, transition from classic big band swing to modern post-war pop."[2]
Voted "most popular female singer" in 1954 in both Billboard and Variety polls,[3] Kallen lost her voice at the Palladium in 1955 at the top of her career[1][3] and left singing for four years,[1] suffering paralyzed vocal cords.[4] After testing her voice under a pseudonym in small town venues,[4] she ultimately returned and went on to achieve 13 top ten career hits.
Kallen performed at numerous prominent live venues including Manhattan's CopacabanaMorris Levy's Versailles, the Capitol Theater, the Maisonette Room at the St. Regis,[5] the Cafe Rouge at the Hotel Pennsylvania and the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room. As well, she starred on Broadway in Finian's Rainbow; in the 1955 film The Second Greatest Sex[6] and on numerous television shows including The Tonight Show with Johnny CarsonThe Big Beat with singer-host Richard Hayes,[7] American Bandstand, and Fred Allen's Judge for Yourself. In 1951, Kallen appeared with Buster Crabbe as the Queen and King of Winter at the Lake Placid resort.[8]
During the height of her popularity, three imposters billed themselves as 'Kitty Kallen.' When one of the imposters — Genevieve Agostinello — died in 1978, it was falsely reported that Kallen herself had died.[6][9] On February 8, 1960, Kallen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (located on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard at #7021), and in 2009 she was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

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Personal life[edit]

Kallen was born Katherine Kalinksy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1][10] one of seven children[11] to Russian Jewish immigrants and naturalized citizens Samuel and Rose Kalinsky (later Kallen). As a child, Kallen won an amateur contest imitating popular singers. When she returned home with her prize, a camera, her father didn't believe her, and punished her for stealing the camera. Only when neighbors subsequently visited to congratulate her, did Kallen's father realize she had actually won the contest.[3]
While with Jack Teagarden's band, she married Clint Garvin, the band's clarinet-player. When Teagarden fired Garvin, Kallen left as well, subsequently annulling the marriage.
In 1948, Kallen married Bernard "Budd" Granoff, a publicist, agent, and television producer.[12] Budd Granoff would later become a pioneering television syndicator.[12] The couple, married for over forty-five years until Granoff's death in 1996, had a son, Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute and Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law.
In 1977, Kallen sued her dermatologist, Norman Orentreich, after he prescribed an estrogen drug, Premarin, for her small facial wrinkles. Kallen subsequently suffered blood clots in her lungs, caused directly by the drug, and won $300,000 in the suit.[13]
In 2008, Kallen joined artists Patti PageTony MartinDick HymanRichard Hayman and the estates of Count BasieBenny GoodmanSarah VaughanWoody HermanLes Brown, the Mills BrothersJerry MuradFrankie Laine and the gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe in a suit against (at the time) the world's largest music label,[14] Universal Music Group, alleging the company had cheated them on royalties.[15]

Career[edit]

As a young girl Kallen sang on The Children's Hour, a radio program sponsored by Horn & Hardart, an automat chain. As a pre-teen, Kallen had a radio program on Philadelphia's WCAU, and sang with the big bands of Jan Savitt[10] in 1936, Artie Shaw in 1938,[16] and Jack Teagarden in 1940.
While still a teenager, she joined the Jimmy Dorsey band, replacing Helen O'Connell. In every theatre of World War II, a favorite of American servicemen, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old." In 1944, Kallen performed the vocals for Dorsey's number-one hit "Besame Mucho". Most of her singing assignments were in duets with Bob Eberly, and when Eberly left to go into the service toward the end of 1943, she joined Harry James' band.
Between January and November 1945, Kitty Kallen had two songs recorded with the Harry James Orchestra in the top twenty, six in Top Ten, and two at the #1 spot -- "I'm Beginning To See the Light" and "It's Been a Long, Long Time" which remains deeply associated with the end of World War II and the returning troops.
With the 1954 hit "Little Things Mean a Lot", Kallen was voted most popular female singer in Billboard and Variety polls. She followed up this song with "Chapel in the Moonlight" and a version of "True Love" for Decca. In 1959, she recorded "If I Give My Heart to You" for Columbia Records, and in 1963, she recorded a top-selling version of "My Coloring Book" for RCA. Her final album was Quiet Nights, a bossa nova-flavored release for 20th Century Fox Records. Subsequently, Kallen retired due to a lung ailment.
A compilation of her hits on various labels remains available on the Sony CD set The Kitty Kallen Story.

Hit recordings[edit]

YearSingleChart positions
U.S.U.S.
R&B
U.S.
AC
UK[17]
1943"They're Either Too Young or Too Old"(with Jimmy Dorsey)2
"Star Eyes"(with Jimmy Dorsey & Bob Eberly)3
1944Bésame Mucho(with Jimmy Dorsey & Bob Eberly)1
"When They Ask About You"(with Jimmy Dorsey)410
1945"I'm Beginning To See the Light"(with Harry James)1
"I Don't Care Who Knows It"(with Harry James)8
"Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry"(with Harry James)16
"Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta"(with Harry James)11
"11:60 PM"(with Harry James)8
"I'll Buy That Dream"(with Harry James)2
"It's Been a Long, Long Time"(with Harry James)1
"Waitin' For the Train To Come In"(with Harry James)6
1946"My Heart Belongs To Daddy"(with Artie Shaw)22
1949"Kiss Me Sweet"30
1950"Juke Box Annie"17
"Our Lady of Fatima"(with Richard Hayes)10
1951"The Aba Daba Honeymoon"(with Richard Hayes)9
1953"Are You Looking For a Sweetheart?"27
1954"Little Things Mean a Lot"11
"In the Chapel In the Moonlight"4
"I Want You All To Myself (Just You)"23
1955"Sweet Kentucky Rose"76
1956"Go On With the Wedding"(with Georgie Shaw)39
"Autumn Leaves"31
"The Lonely One"24
"Just Between Friends"19
1957"Long And Lonely Nights"42
"Lasting Love"44
1958"Misty"525132
1959"If I Give My Heart To You"34
1960"That Old Feeling"55
1961"Raining In My Heart"313222
"I Know That Someday You'll Want Me To Want You"212013
1962"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels"101
"My Coloring Book"187
1963"Please Don't"121
1964"Quiet Nights,Quiet Stars"19
1966"Oba-Oba"100
1967"One Grain Of Sand" (Final Recording)101

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