Kay Starr – The Greatest Female Pop Star of the 1950s
Kay Starr’s hit “Wheel of Fortune” is her most famous song. Her career spans more than 50 years. Released on 16 February 1952, the song soared to #1 on the Billboard Best Selling Pop Singles chart, spending 10 weeks on top. It also reached #1 on the Billboard Most Played in Juke Boxes chart. This single was one of her most successful singles, making her one of the most popular female pop stars of the 1950s.
Starr began her career as a pop singer. She was first heard on the radio in her teens by Joe Venuti. He heard her singing on the radio and invited her to join his band at Memphis’ Peabody Hotel. During her summer breaks, she continued to perform with him. Later, she performed with Glenn Miller in New York, and after she graduated from high school, she signed with Charlie Barnet and his orchestra. Her hit single “Wheel of Fortune,” which was her second best-selling single of all time, was also the best-selling single of the year.
In addition to a successful career, Starr had many other interests. Starr was an accomplished actress who was also an advocate of the underdog. Throughout her life, she helped countless women fight racism in the United States. Her mother was Irish and her father Iroquois. She eventually moved to Memphis where she started a career in child singing.