KAY KYSER BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Kay Kyser was born on June 18th, 1905 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina with the birth name James King Kern Kyser to parents, Paul Bynum Kyser and Emily Royster. After high school he graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He excelled in cheerleading on campus and later took clarinet lessons. He joined a band after college and toured restaurants throughout the Midwest. He soon developed an act that combined a quiz with music which became known as Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge.
Soon, his show was broadcast on the Mutual Radio during 1938 and soon NBC radio took it on from 1939 through 1949. His band had eleven number one records and in 1941 he was the first bandleader to perform in front of military personnel.
Between 1930 and 1940 his band began appearing in a number of films such as "That's Right You're Wrong" (1939) also starring May Robson, Adolphe Menjou, Lucille Ball, Dennis O'Keefe, Edward Everett Horton and Roscoe Karns, "You'll Find Out" (1940) sting alongside Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Dennis O'Keefe, Bela Lugosi and Helen Parrish, "Carolina Blues" (1944) co-starring Ann Miller and Victor Moore, "Stage Door Canteen" with an ensemble allstar cast including Lon McCallister, Margaret Early, Judith Anderson, Jack Benny, Ralph Bellamy, Katharine Hepburn, Sam Jaffe, Ray Bolger, George Raft, Arlene Francis, Paul Muni, Merle Oberon, Alan Mowbray, Helen Hayes, Edgar Bergen, Johnny Weissmuller and Jean Hersholt just to name a few and "Thousands Cheer" starring Kathryn Gyson, Gene Kelly and Mary Astor, and both wartime films.
Along with performing his music in films, he also was an actor and worked on such comedy films as "Playmates" (1941) strring John Barrymore, Lupe Velez and May Robson. He also made a cameo appearance in the book, Batman.
In the late 40's, Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge aired on NBC and then, Tennessee Ernie Ford revived the show on NBC calling it "The Ford Show" (1956-1961). By the early 1960's, Kyser decided to retire from performing, many believe it was due to his long time suffering from arthritis.
He converted to the Church of Christ, Scientist and headed up the film and television department of the Christian Science Church in Boston. He had only one wife, Georgia Carroll whom he married, then divorced and then later remarried and they had three children together.
He then passed away on July 23rd, 1985 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina after suffering from a heart attack. In 1990 he was inducted onto the Radio Hall of Fame and was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording and for Radio.
1944 Stage Door Canteen
1944 Thousands Cheer
1944 Carolina Blues
1943 Around the World
1943 Swing Fever
1942 My Favorite Spy
1940 You'll Find Out
1939 That's Right You're Wrong