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Born as Fayetta Gelinas in Manchester, New Hampshire, she won the 1951 Ted Mack Amateur Hour award and toured with the group. She was an opening act for Liberace and toured with Mickey Finn. While touring with Liberace, on one occasion when his trumpet player had called in sick, McKay stepped in to vocally perform the trumpet parts. She also performed shows at Las Vegas venues such as The Dunes the Landmark and the Stardust, and undertook independent touring as a headlining act.
She appeared on television talk shows, including The Mike Douglas Show, The Dick Cavett Show and The Merv Griffin Show, and took a voice acting role as a supporting character in the English edition of Galaxy Express 999 in 1996.
She released two albums, A-Live at the Dunes and Winter Favorites.
The Twelve Daze of Christmas
She is most well-known for "The Twelve Daze of Christmas", a parody of the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in which her true love gives her various forms of alcohol each day, resulting in McKay becoming progressively more inebriated as the song continues.
- 12 dry Martinis (which Fay pronounces "Martoonis")
- 11 Bloody Marys (which at one point Fay refers to as "that green stuff")
- 10 dry Manhattans
- 9 Margaritas (as Fay gets drunker, she sings "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and says "9 Roto-Rooters" and "9 rigor mortis". In another performance Fay says "9 Resurrections".)
- 8 sweet Old Fashioneds
- 7 Johnnie Walkers
- 6 Cuba Libres
- 5 dry Rob Roys
- 4 Old Fitzgeralds
- 3 Old Crows
- 2 Cutty Sarks (which later becomes "2 City Bus" and "2 City Parks")
- And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (which becomes "A bird with the fruit on the limb", "A Tree in the Meadow", and "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top".)
McKay died in Las Vegas, Nevada, aged 77, from undisclosed causes.
- Obituary: "R.I.P. FAY MCKAY". Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 5, 2008.
- Darden Asbury Pyron, Liberace: An American Boy. University of Chicago Press, 2013. ISBN 9780226117126. p. 270.
- "That's Earl for today". Uniontown Evening Standard. March 19, 1970. p. 18. Retrieved December 22, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Vaudeville is still alive in Vegas". Milwaukee Journal, March 21, 1972.
- "Fay McKay to give benefit performance". Greeley Daily Tribune. February 8, 1973. p. 24. Retrieved December 22, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.