Grahame N's Web Pages


Dinah Kaye - publicity photos

Dinah Kaye was a UK dance band singer from the early 1940s. She sang with various small groups including Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet. Later she appeared weekly on Humphrey Lyttelton's jazz programme and did spots at many London up market clubs.

She was actually born Kay Cumming in Burma on the 2nd February 1924; her parents were Scottish and by the time she was five years old had returned to Edinburgh, Scotland, UK where she spent her childhood. After entering local singing competitions, she began singing with local bands and in jazz clubs.

Kaye first went to London in 1943 and became resident singer with Harry Parry and his Orchestra. After touring with them for a few years, she left to go freelance and spent two years in the Netherlands. On returning to London, she became the popular resident singer at Fischer's and had regular spots at the Savoy Club and Café de Paris. Edmundo Ros's Coconut Grove was another popular spot for her. In great demand, she sang with many of the popular bands of the day: Nat Allen, Cyril Stapleton, Tommy Sampson and Terry Lightfoot, to name a few.

She appeared on BBC Radio in "Linger Awhile", a programme with the Ronnie Aldrich Quartet in the 1940s; by 1947 Dinah Kaye was in radio broadcasts with Tommy Sampson & his Orchestra on the BBC Light programme; also on French radio and in a radio broadcast from the Aquarium Ballroom, Brighton.

Edmundo Ros chose Kaye to record with him for Decca and she sang "Jealous Eyes". The record caused a stir, and she signed with Decca as a solo artist. Her first record for them was "Just Another Polka" produced by Dick Rowe. Billy Daniels, the popular singer of "That Old Black Magic", heard her work and in 1953 took her to the US to pursue her career there on 'out of town' dates. Decca immediately released her record there.

This was an exciting new phase in her career: she appeared with Louis Armstrong, who remained a friend throughout her time in America. She also supported Tony Bennett and travelled extensively in America and Canada, appearing with many of the big names and making friends in the American showbiz world. After four years in the US, she came home and relaunched her career in London.

In 1960 there were problems when she was to sing "
Do It Again" - the BBC panel had to authorise the performance!!

She sang in night clubs and restaurants and, in July 1962, Acker Bilk threw a party in London for Kaye before she went to Poland to represent the UK at the Sopot Jazz Festival, where she sang new words to the tune "Stranger on the Shore" and was presented with a Silver Salver.

During the 1950s and '60s, Kaye toured in South Africa, Israel, Poland, Malta, Tanzania, Rhodesia, West Germany and Switzerland, and was well-received everywhere she went. As an indication of her popularity here, she came second to Cleo Laine in a 1965 Melody Maker Jazz Poll. She broadcast regularly on the BBC, as well as in many of the countries she visited.

Dinah Kaye was still listed in the Stage Year Book for 1967.

Kaye had a great sense of humour and had fun with many of the stars with whom she appeared, and she always enjoyed an excellent rapport with her audience.

Dinah Kaye died in her home town of Edinburgh on 12th September 2011. She was 87 years old.

.(My thanks to an article by Pam MacKinnon in the Independant dated 19th October 2011, plus other bits from refernce books and the internet!)

Date       Title                       Group             Label / Details
??Jan1945  Don't You Know I Care   Harry Parry Sextet    Parlophone          R2957

17Mar1948  Little Grey Home In the West Harry Parry      Parlophone CE12198  R3166
24Feb1949  Blues Are Brewin'       Harry Parry Sextet    Parlophone CE12533

?????????  Sophisticated Lady      Harry Parry Sextet   

1953       Part Of Your Heart                            Decca F10171
?????????  Jealous Eyes            Edmundo Ros Orch.     Decca
?????????  Just Another Polka                            Decca

1954       False Hearted Lover                           RCA (USA) X0005  45/78prm
1954       Strike A Match                                RCA (USA) X0005  45/78rpm
1954       Butterscotch Mop                              RCA (USA) X0074  45/78rpm
1954       When Are You Coming Home, Joe                 RCA (USA) X0074  45/78rpm

?????????  Slow Coach                                   

           Wow! 3/11d in 1963 (about 20p today!
                             ARC (Associated Recordings Company) were a reduced price label

1963       THE ROARING TWENTIES                        33rpm EP  ARC 38
              Dinah Kaye with Tubby Sykes and the Powerhouse Seven
               The Black Bottom
               Baby Face
               Miss Annabelle Lee
      Hear a rather scratchy transfer of the "Roaring Twenties" record 
1963   THE ROARING TWENTIES                   33rpm LP SOC 913
          Dinah Kaye with Tubby Sykes and the Powerhouse Seven
           Charleston                   The Black Bottom
           Somebody Stole My Girl       Miss Anabelle Lee
           Dinah                        Carolina Moon
           Tiger Rag                    Sweet Georgia Brown
           Ain't She Sweet              Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider
           Baby Face                    Some Of These Days
(The above four track EP came from this 12 track LP)


            another photo of Dinah Kaye
JIVIN' AND JAMMIN' (17mins)                GB 1949 
Prod/Dir/Ed: Frank Gardner  (issued on 9.5mm optical sound Oct 1951 as T.9692)
The Maurice Arnold Sextet play "Loch Lomond", "Three Blind Mice" & "I've Found A New Baby"; 
vocalist Dinah Kaye sings "Honeysuckle Rose" & "These Foolish Things"
     Watch my 9.5mm sound print "Jivin' And Jammin' ":
 Two musical numbers with Humphrey Lyttleton Band
 (Humphrey Lyttleton, Bruce Turner, Wally Fawkes,
  Dill Jones - vocals: Dinah Kaye)


Dinah Kaye / gln / 1Aug2016


Created 01Aug2016 ......... Last updated: 02 March 2017 ........ musdinahkaye.htm ............. @ MMXV1 Grahame L. Newnham Web Pages