Kay Kyser

Big Band Leader, Entertainer announcer. Kay Kyser was very successful during his years as a number one band leader in the country and equally productive during his long period of retirement at age 41. He had eleven number-one hit recordings...”Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” “Three Little Fishes” “Jingle Jangle Jingle” “Old Buttermilk Sky” and “The Woody Woodpecker Song.”

In the late 30's and early 40's, Kyser's band appeared in seven motion pictures...”Stage Door Canteen” “Thousands Cheer” and Carolina Blues” where the story was about the band. However, his greatest success was in radio, the media which propelled him and his Orchestra to fame with the radio show and finally television, “Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge.”

Kyser in reality had a two phase life career both different in demeanor, one in show business and another in diverse public service and religion. He was born James Kern Kyser in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to parents Paul and Emily Kyser both pharmacists. He exhibited little interest in music as a youngster which would only surface during his college days at North Carolina State. His attendance there was almost preordained by his families history at the school. Many members including his parents not only were former students but would return to teach at UNC or serve in some official capacity.

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