Sammy Kaye

Sammy Kaye's band was a textbook example of "sweet" dance bands: large groups whose arrangements seldom swung in the true sense, but were very popular among those who enjoyed overly sentimental light pop and novelty tunes. Kaye began building his reputation in college, then became a hit on radio in Cincinnati. He moved to Pittsburgh and eventually became a national staple. His radio show Sunday Serenade was a huge hit in the '40s and '50s. Kaye had many pop hits, some of them adapted for Broadway shows. His gimmick of having fans volunteer to lead his band was highly popular and was transferred to television in the '50s. Perry Como and Nat King Cole had hits with Kay material. This was far from being a jazz band in the real sense, but made enjoyable material of its kind. ~ Ron Wynn

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