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Saturday, February 24, 2018

It's A Lonesome Old Town - Kitty Kallen

The Lonely One
It's A Lonesome Old Town
Kitty Kallen
With Jack Pleis And His Orchestra
Decca Records DL 8397

From the back cover: Kitty Kallen is a beautiful contradiction of all the old stereotypes. For one thing, she was born in a family with absolutely no show-business background. For another, although now she certainly is a beautiful young lady, as a child she was so freckled, pug-nosed, and awkward, that she was a typical ugly duckling. The fact that her nickname was "Monkey" did not decrease her sense of inferiority.

The very feeling of being insecure and unattractive made her determined to win a place for herself by being "best" in everything she undertook. One of seven children, she was not only pugnacious but the toughest tomboy in the neighborhood. She entered every contest in high school and established records in the fifty yard dash.

Along with her athletic prowess Kitty also wanted to attain eminence as a singer. Succeed she did, for at the age of eight she won her first amateur contest, after which she appeared on the original "Horn & Hardart Children's Hour" over WCAU. It wasn't long before she had her own program with Jan Savitt's Orchestra over the same station.

At fifteen, eager to measure herself against wider territory, Kitty joined the newly-formed Jack Teagarden swing band, consisting of sixteen men and a girl, Kitty, naturally, was the girl. Later, at eighteen, she was sharing an apartment with her good friend Dinah Shore when she received an offer to join Jimmy Dorsey's band, and it was with Dorsey that she recorded "Besame Mucho," her first big record hit for Decca. After leaving the Dorsey aggregation, Kitty went on to be vocalist with Harry James, as well as songster on the Danny Kaye, David Rose, Alec Templeton, and other radio shows. The nightclubs which she favored with her presence include New York's Copacabana, St. Regis' Maisonette, the Versailles, the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room, and Chicago's Chez Paris. Kitty also made repeated appearances on the "Colgate Comedy Hour" with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and went on two nationwide tours with the pair of comics. In 1955, she made her movie debut in Universal-International's "The Second Greatest Sex," and achieved international acclaim with her tremendous success at the Palladium in London.

Many singers owe their career to their industry and integrity. This is also true of Kitty Kallen, but her sense of loyalty resulted in her not getting tow important spots. Bing Crosby offered her the role of female singing star in his "Kraft Music Hall," but she refused out of loyalty to Dorsey, with whom she had just singed. A little later Frank Sinatra asked her to join the cast of "Hit Parade," but the Sinatra show was broadcast from Hollywood and Kitty's wedding was about to take place in New York – and this was one date Kitty decided not to postpone!

Since signing with Decca, Kitty has had several huge hits. Her interpretation of "Little Things Mean a Lot" sold a million copies, and it was followed by the almost equally popular "In The Chapel In The Moonlight." Her album Kitty Kallen Sings (ED 2164) was universally acclaimed.

It's A Lonsome Old Town
I Heard You Cried Last Night (And So Did I)
How Are Things In Glocca Mora
Look To The Rainbow
Just Between Friends
The Lonely One
How About Me?
Autumn Leaves
Wishing (Will Make It So)
It Could Happen To You
When Did You Leave Heaven?

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