Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 25 August 2019

Kyser, Kay [James King Kern ]locked

  • Steven Beasley

Extract

[James King Kern ]

(b Rocky Mount, NC, June 18, 1905; d Chapel Hill, NC, July 23, 1985). American Bandleader, actor, humanitarian, and religious leader. Sometimes known as “The Ol’ Professor of Swing,” Kyser climbed to the heights of pop success from 1935 to 1950 with an orchestra that played novelty songs as well as swing and ballads. Though he couldn’t read music or play an instrument, he was a brilliant businessman and front man, chalking up 35 top ten records and 11 number ones.

Kyser attended and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill (business degree, 1928), where he produced plays, organized a band (1926), and began to use “Kay” (derived from his middle initial) as his stage name. They recorded six songs for the Victor label between 1928 and 1929, but didn’t record commercially again until 1935. They broke into the big time in Chicago in 1937 with a quiz and music radio show called ...

Access to the complete content on Grove Music Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.