Thursday, September 29, 2016

Country Girl Kay

Country Girl Kay

CP-5363 - .Montana Stomp  / No One Loves You Like I Do
CP-5364  - Canadian Waltz  / My Heart Say Forget

Whitkay Record Co., Inc. 501

Born Helen Evelyn Smith in Buffalo, Missouri in 1923. Country Girl Kay was a country musician at heart, and could play the following instruments by ear: guitar, banjo, fiddle, accordion, mandolin and the piano. Along with playing instruments she could read and write music. She learned this from her favorite teacher, Lois Farmer.

She and her sister Wanda, who also was musician, performed with traveling country bands in the 1940s. Some of the performances were on radio broadcasts. They played music in their duet [The Smith Sisters], until they made a trio by joining Boots Faye, another music entertainer.

When her sister Wanda get married, she formed a duet with Carson Jack Whittaker and performed at fairs and rodeos. After their marriage in the mid 40's, they continued to perform music. During that period of her life her husband decided to be her manager. Then she began to perform solo. For a while she had a recording contract with Capitol Records. One of the songs they wrote together ("Texas Boogie") was recorded by Gene O'Quin for Capitol Records.   After that she and her husband formed Whitkay Records.  About ten singles were released between 1961 and 1964.

Carson Jack Whittaker was murdered July 1964, while hitchhiking near Afton, Wyoming. According to media coverage of the crime, when the accused shooter was discovered, he had in his possession a suitcase containing "unpublished songs" written by Kay.

Kay did not record after her husband's death.

Helen Evelyn (Kay) Smith Whittaker Gardner
March 7, 1923 - March 12, 2002

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