Kathleen Lane

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Kathleen Lane, sometimes billed as Kitty Lane, was a Big Band singer in the 1930s and 40s.

Life and career[edit]

She joined Glenn Miller’s unsuccessful first band in May or June 1937, replacing Vi Mele. She recorded five songs with Miller in November and December; "Sweet Stranger" made Metronome's Best Records list and editor George T. Simon became one of her staunchest supporters. After Miller’s group folded in January 1938, she signed with Isham Jones, but did not record with the band. In late October or early November of that year, she joined Bunny Berigan (with husband Jerry Johnson as band manager) and recorded two sides, "I Cried for You" (which reached #13 on the record charts) and "'Deed I Do". By March 1939 she'd been replaced by former Charlie Barnet vocalist Kathleen Long, with whom she is frequently confused.

A few months later, Lane was appearing with Bob Chester and during the summer of 1939 she recorded seven sides, among them a standout version of "Just For A Thrill". On September 21, 1939, she appeared on Chester's short-lived 15-minute radio show on CBS; the program was archived (along with the rest of Washington, D. C. station WJSV's broadcast day) and is still circulated by Old Time Radio collectors and on the internet. She stayed with Chester until October, when Dolores O'Neill became the band's featured attraction.

In early November, Metronome announced that Lane had joined Red Norvo's band, but her stay was brief: in a matter of weeks she was appearing at the Strand Theater in New York with the Bob Crosby Orchestra, possibly as a last-minute substitute for Doris Day. In October 1940, Lane was Bunny Berigan's guest vocalist at the World's Fair in Flushing, New York, singing "Rumboogie" and "A Million Dreams Ago". The following month she auditioned for NBC's "Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" but Dolores O'Neill got the job. In December, Lane was back at the Strand, this time with Woody Herman. Like the Crosby and Norvo gigs, the Strand date with Herman seems to have been a temporary arrangement: Lane did not record with Herman's Herd and apparently retired from the music business in 1941.

Glenn Miller recordings[edit]

Recordings with Glenn Miller:

  • "My Fine Feathered Friend"
  • "Doin' the Jive"
  • "Silhouetted In the Moonlight"
  • "Every Day’s A Holiday"
  • "Sweet Stranger"

Bob Chester recordings[edit]

Recordings with Bob Chester:

  • "Just For A Thrill"
  • "Shoot The Sherbet To Me, Herbert" (also sang on CBS 9/21/39; see above)
  • "You Tell Me Your Dreams and I'll Tell You Mine"
  • "Billy"
  • "Oo, Oo, Oo, I'm Thrilled"
  • "Goodbye, Goodbye"
  • "I Can't Tell You Why I Love You, But I Do"

Bunny Berigan recordings[edit]

Recordings with Bunny Berigan:

  • "Patty cake, Patty Cake"

Sources[edit]

  • Walker, Leo. The Big Band Almanac. Da Capo, 1989.
  • Simon, George T. The Big Bands. Foreword by Frank Sinatra. Schirmer Books; 4th edition (March 4, 1982).