Kay Starr

A solid jazz singer whose early recordings tended to be forgotten after her ascendancy into the commercial sphere during the mid-'50s, Kay Starr was among the first pop singer to capitalize on the "rock fad" with her 1955 novelty "Rock and Roll Waltz." Her biggest hit came with the era-defining "Wheel of Fortune," a prime slice of '50s adult pop with a suitably brassy reading. Born in Oklahoma, she moved to Dallas at a young age and made her debut on radio while still in school. A brief stay with Glenn Miller & His Orchestra precipitated her working with groups led by Bob Crosby, Joe Venuti and finally Charlie Barnet. She recorded a few numbers with Barnet that earned her a solo contract with Capitol.