Vocal Jazz • United States
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Kay Starr was born Katherine LaVerne Starks in Dougherty, Oklahoma, on July 21, 1922. Her father Harry was a full-blooded Iroquois Indian, and her mother Annie was Irish. When Kay was three the family moved from Dougherty, a town of around four hundred, to Dallas where her father found work installing sprinkler systems in buildings. Because finances were tight during the depression years, Mrs. Starks began raising chickens in a hen house behind their home, and it was here that Kay first began singing at the age of nine. Each day when she returned home from school she would give concerts to the chickens as they sat in their roosts. While her parents found this amusing, Kay’s Aunt Nora recognized the possibilities of her talent and suggested her mother enter her in local radio station WWR-Dallas’ weekly talent contest.
After a winning appearance at Dallas’ Melba Theatre singing “Now’s The
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