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Sammy Kaye
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    (March 13, 1910-June 2, 1987)
    Born in Lakewood, Ohio
    Birth name was Samuel Zarnocay, Jr.
    Clarinetist, saxophonist and big band leader
    Recorded the singles 'Daddy' (1941), 'Remember Pearl Harbor' (1942), 'I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen' (1942), 'Don't Fence Me In' (1945), 'Chickery Chick' (1945), 'It Might As Well Be Spring' (1946), 'I'm a Big Girl Now' (1946), 'The Gypsy' (1946), 'Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside' (1946), 'The Old Lamplighter' (1946), 'That's My Desire' (1947), 'An Apple Blossom Wedding' (1947), 'Serenade of the Bells' (1948), 'Lavender Blue' (1949), 'Careless Hands' (1949), 'Room Full of Roses' (1949), 'The Four Winds and the Seven Seas' (1949), 'It Isn't Fair' (1950), 'Roses' (1950) and 'Harbor Lights' (1950)
    Hosted the radio program 'Sunday Serenade' and the TV variety show 'So You Want To Lead a Band'
    Slogan was 'Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye'
    Starting out, he had such a strong Czech accent that the manager of the Statler Hotel paid him to take elocution lessons.
    He was a demanding taskmaster, who once prompted almost the entire band to walk out.
    His own playing was not good enough for him to take any solos on his records.
    One critic described his band's musicians as 'magnificently talented and exceedingly unoriginal.'
    Space Age Pop described his typical 'sweet sound' as 'pleasant, inoffensive music.... nothing too fast, too loud or too energetic.'
    He discovered Brian Hyland, resulting in 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' being unleashed on the world.
    In high school, he set a state record in hurdles, earning a track scholarship to Ohio University.
    After seeing the success of Lawrence Welk on TV, he joked that accepting those elocution lessons might have been a mistake.
    A critic who hated his band's sweet sound conceded, 'He was adept at setting ideal tempos for dancing [and] fronting his band with grace and charm.'
    He played at the presidential inaugurations of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
    He did a memorable audience participation gimmick, 'So You Want To Lead a Band,' where an audience member would be invited on stage to try to conduct the band, which would follow along for better or (usually and hilariously) worse.
    He earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for recordings, radio and TV.

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2018, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
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