Kitty Kallen (born May 25, 1922) is a Jewish American popular singer who sang with a number of big bands in the 1940s, coming back in the 1950s to score her biggest hit, "Little Things Mean a Lot" in 1954.
Born in Philadelphia to a Jewish family, she won an amateur contest as a child doing imitations of some singers of the day. When she brought her prize (a camera) home, her father refused to believe her and thought she had stolen the camera, so he punished her severely. Later, when neighborhood people came to congratulate her father, he realized that her story was true. Subsequently she sang (while still a child) on The Children's Hour, a radio program sponsored by Horn & Hardart, a firm which had a chain of Automats in New York and Philadelphia. As a pre-teen she had her own program on Philadelphia's WCAU, and soon she sang as a vocalist with the big bands of Jan Savitt in 1936, Artie Shaw in 1938, and Jack Teagarden in 1940. Whilst with the Savitt band, she briefly was a roommate of Dinah Shore. She married Clint Garvin, who played clarinet in Teagarden's band, and when Teagarden fired Garvin, she left as well. The marriage was annulled.
Kallen later married Bud Granoff, a famous publicist, agent, and television producer. They were married over forty-five years, until Granoff's death. Still only a teenager at that time--after a short stay with Bobby Sherwood--she joined the Jimmy Dorsey band, replacing Helen O'Connell. Eventually, in 1944, she appeared as the vocalist for Dorsey's US number-one hit, "Besame Mucho". Most of her singing assignments were in duets with Bob Eberly, and when Eberly left to go into the service toward the end of 1943, she joined Harry James' band.
Kallen became a popular artist on radio, film, and nightclubs, but lost her voice at the height of her career. She eventually made a comeback, with the 1954 hit "Little Things Mean a Lot" (voted the most popular record) and Kallen was voted most popular female singer in Billboard and Variety polls.
Other popular recordings by Kallen included "Chapel in the Moonlight" and she also recorded a version of "True Love" for Decca. She did not record again until the early 1960s; firstly for Columbia where she had a hit version of "If I Give My Heart to You". In 1963 she had the biggest selling version of "My Coloring Book" which appeared on RCA. Her final album was Quiet Nights, a bossa nova based long player for 20th Century Fox Records. A compilation of her hits on various labels is available on the Sony CD set, The Kitty Kallen Story.
During Kallen's height of popularity, there were three imposters who billed themselves as Kitty Kallen. When one of them (Genevieve Angostinello) died, it was reported that Kallen had died, and that is where the mis-information about Kallen's birth name originated.
For her recording work, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kallen is known as a one-hit wonder in the UK, as her song "Little Things Mean a Lot", went to number 1 in the UK Singles Chart, but she failed to follow it up.
- "Besame Mucho" (1944) (with Bob Eberly and the Jimmy Dorsey band)
- "They're Either Too Young Or Too Old" (1944) (with the Jimmy Dorsey band)
- "It's Been A Long, Long Time" (1945) (with the Harry James band)
- "I'm Beginning To See The Light" (1945) (with the Harry James band)
- "Kiss Me Sweet" (1949) (with Mitch Miller)
- "Juke Box Annie" (1950) (with Harry Geller's orchestra)
- "Our Lady Of Fatima" (1950) (with Richard Hayes and Jimmy Carroll's orchestra)
- "The Aba Daba Honeymoon" (1951) (with Richard Hayes) (better known version recorded by Debbie Reynolds)
- "Are You Looking For A Sweetheart?" (1953)
- "I Want You All To Myself" (1954)
- "Little Things Mean a Lot" (1954)
- "In The Chapel In The Moonlight" (1954)
- "Sweet Kentucky Rose" (1955)
- "Go On With The Wedding" (1955) (with Georgie Shaw) (better known version recorded by Patti Page)
- "If I Give My Heart to You" (1959) (better known versions recorded in 1954 by Denise Lor and Doris Day)
- "That Old Feeling" (1960)
- "My Coloring Book" (1963) (competing version by Sandy Stewart)
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Kitty Kallen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|