THE LIVES OF DEAD JAZZ SINGERS: Kay Starr

17 02 2009

THE LIVES OF DEAD JAZZ SINGERS:
Kay Starr
Sometimes you could see those dark clouds gathering. Ain’t no rain in those clouds, daddy would say. Just the future. That the white man planted a long time ago. And the transients passed her doorsteps. And talked of revolution and the old days when times were good. So sweetly, little Katie found her own audience. The chickens in the coop loved to hear her voice. Made them forget the foxes in the woodlot. And the wolves in the hills. Her aunt arranged for her to sing on a Dallas radio station. A little kid and that big mike. Made folks think that no all was lost. Look at that tiny child with the big voice. Song contests. So many song contests. She soon had her own show. Moved to Tennessee. At 15 she was singing with the Joe Venuti orchestra. Up and down endless dusty roads. Listen to the little stones under the wheels hitting the floor boards. Sometimes I could scream with the boredom. Singing for all the boys in their immaculate little uniforms. So proud of being so tidy. Town to town. Hall to hall. Performing is a kind of prison. Exhausted. Can’t stop singing. The snow must… Heading off to God knows where. Or Canada. And wasn’t she what they were all fighting for. Kay Starr and her big girl voice. And the boys came back. Most of them. Although some parts were missing. And she fell ill. And her voice disappeared in a hole. Chasing a rabbit. Oh God, what a relief. No longer to have to sing. It could have been heaven to be mute. Marry big Harry and have little mute children. Her voice came back. And she stepped back into the ongoing never ending career. Its such a long long time when you’re never allowed to remember.
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