QUESTION: What instrument did Kay Kyser play prior to becoming a band leader?
It happened last week on the blog where we were going to talk about the sheet music displayed in our collection for "Where Was I?"and got to exploring the man who wrote the lyrics - Al Dubin - and the movie it was written for - 'Til We Meet Again. Now we think of it, we never really talked about the song itself. Huh. Anyway, today's sheet music is for the song "Humpty Dumpty Heart," written for the movie Playmates from 1941. The headliner for the film was the popular big band leader Kay Kyser, and we are going to dedicate a little space to him today.
James Kern "Kay" Kyser was from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Born in 1905, Kay proved highly charming and popular. School president and cheerleader, he wanted to be a musician but was better suited to be a bandleader and personality. He took his band around the American midwest and performed in different venues, while also hosting a popular quiz called Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge, which was broadcast via radio throughout the 1930's. By the end of that decade, Kyser had become popular enough that he headlined a number of films.
Playmates came out in 1941, less than three weeks after the United States and Japan went to war. He was in eight films all tolled, prior to moving on into television. He retired from music in 1950, and spent his final three decades concentrating on his faith, at one point holding the position of President of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. He passed away in 1985.
ANSWER: B) Clarinet