“I like the songs that have to do with life. It has always been my theory that a singer, male or female, is no more than an actor or actress set to music. They are only as good as the stories they tell.”
Native Oklahoman Katherine “Kay” Laverne Starks moved with her family to towns in Texas and Tennessee and began her singing career at the age of eight. She was only thirteen when she began singing for a daily radio show in Tennessee. She worked there several summers before performing with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys at the Grand Ole Opry and singing with Bob Crosby and Frank Sinatra. She recorded an album with Glenn Miller’s orchestra when she was only fifteen and performed at military bases with Charlie Barnett’s band throughout World War II. She received her first Gold Record with the hit “Wheel of Fortune” in the 1950’s and later, sang such hits as “The Lonesomest Gal in Town,” “Angry,” “Rock and Roll Waltz,” “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” and “Side by Side.” She was a regular guest on the “Danny Thomas Show”, toured with Annie Get Your Gun, and starred in the movie, The Lord Don’t Play Favorites with Robert Stack and Buster Keaton. She and Frank Sinatra were awarded the “Hit Parader’s #1 Male and Female Entertainers” and she became Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Goodwill in 1985.
Kay Starr auditioned only once during her entire career. At the audition, she had no music and said, “If I don’t know the words, I’ll make’em up. If you have someone to write the music, I’ll sing it.” She sang for thirty minutes and got the job.
Starr was born on an Indian Reservation in Daugherty, Oklahoma.