Kitty Kallen

From Academic Kids

Kitty Kallen (born Genevieve Agostinello on May 25, 1922) was an American popular singer, who sang with a number of big bands in the 1940s, coming back in the 1950s to score her biggest hit, 1954's "Little Things Mean A Lot".

Born in Philadelphia, she won an amateur contest as a child doing imitations of some singers of the day. When she brought her prize (a camera) home, her father refused to believe her and thought she had stolen the camera, so he punished her severely. Later, when neighborhood people came to congratulate her father, he realized that her story was true. Subsequently she sang (while still a child) on The Children's Hour, a radio program sponsored by Horn & Hardart, a firm which had a chain of cafeterias in New York and Philadelphia. As a pre-teen she had her own program on Philadelphia's WCAU, and soon she sang as a vocalist with the big bands of Jan Savitt in 1936, Artie Shaw in 1938, and Jack Teagarden in 1940. (While with the Savitt band, she briefly was a roommate of Dinah Shore.) She married Clint Garvin, who played clarinet in Teagarden's band, and when Teagarden fired Garvin, she left as well. After a short stay with Bobby Sherwood, she joined the Jimmy Dorsey band, replacing Helen O'Connell. Though only a teen-ager at the time, she was the vocalist for one of Dorsey's big hits, "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.

She became a popular artist on radio, film, and night clubs, but lost her voice at the height of her career. She eventually made a comeback, with the 1954 hit "Little Things Mean a Lot" (voted the most popular record) and Kitty was voted most popular female singer in Billboard and Variety polls.

Hit recordings

  • "The Aba Daba Honeymoon" (1951) (with Richard Hayes) (better known version done by Debbie Reynolds)
  • "Are You Looking For A Sweetheart?" (1953)
  • "Besame Mucho" (1944) (with Bob Eberly and the Jimmy Dorsey band)
  • "Go On With The Wedding" (1955) (with Georgie Shaw) (better known version done by Patti Page)
  • "If I Give My Heart To You" (1959) (better known versions done in 1954 by Denise Lor and Doris Day)
  • "I'm Beginning To See The Light" (1945) (with the Harry James band)
  • "In The Chapel In The Moonlight" (1954)
  • "It's Been A Long Long Time" (1945) (with the Harry James band)
  • "I Want You All To Myself" (1954)
  • "Juke Box Annie" (1950) (with Harry Geller's orchestra)
  • "Kiss Me Sweet" (1949) (with Mitch Miller)
  • "Little Things Mean A Lot" (1954) (her biggest hit)
  • "My Coloring Book" (1963) (her last hit)
  • "Our Lady Of Fatima" (1950) (with Richard Hayes and Jimmy Carroll's orchestra)
  • "They're Either Too Young Or Too Old" (1944) (with the Jimmy Dorsey band)

External links

  • Kitty Kallen page on the MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/encyclopaedia/k/K4.HTM) site
  • Kitty Kallen page on the Philadelphia Music Alliance (http://www.phillymusic.org/stars/1992kk.html) site
  • Remember Kitty Kallen? (http://www.gmmy.com/fifties/kitty.htm)
  • Kitty Kallen page on the SOLID! (http://www.parabrisas.com/d_kallenk.html) site
  • Kitty Kallen page on The Interlude Era (http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/kallen.html) site
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