Kay Starr, Rockin’ With Kay, RCA LPM-1720, 1958
Imagine Celine Dion making a hip hop record. That’s kind of what this Kay Starr album is like. Rock & Roll was just one kind of popular music in the 50s, and I think the logic here was that Kay Starr’s pop records weren’t selling, so why not try to record some of that “new” music to appeal to a new audience.
It’s not a bad idea, it’s just that this isn’t what Rock & Roll is supposed to be about. Big corporate music companies take a while to ramp up to the newest trends, and while Elvis Presley was RCA’s biggest star, they didn’t have much bench strength as far as cutting edge music went. Kay’s star was brightest in the 40s and into the early 50s, and perhaps her biggest seller was the novelty song Rock And Roll Waltz. Make no mistake, it wasn’t a Rock song.
So, no, this album didn’t sell well and Kay Starr’s career decline continued. She moved back to Capitol Records in 1959 and she produced a string of barely successful jazz records ala Peggy Lee. Her Christmas records are what she’s probably best known for today, with (Everybody’s Waiting’ For) The Man With The Bag getting a ton of plays every December.
Cost: $2, $431 Remaining