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Kay Thompson
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PART ONE: HEADLINING CONCERT & NIGHTCLUB APPEARANCES: Piano Recital (Baldwin Recital Hall, Baldwin Piano Co., 1111 Olive Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 4/28/1923) Piano soloist, credited as “Catherine Fink,” Kay was just 13-years-old. (Other piano soloists on the bill included Kay’s three siblings: Blanche, Marian and Leo (“Bud”) Fink.) Kay performed “Scotch Poem” (MacDowell), “Polichinelle” (Rachmaninoff), and, the finale of the recital, a duet with Blanche on “March Militaire” (Schubert-Tausig). St. Louis Symphony (Odeon Theater and other local venues in St. Louis, Missouri; various performances 1925-1927) Piano soloist, credited as "Catherine Fink." Tom Coakley & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson  (Blossom Room, Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, California, 8/3/1932-10/23/1932) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Al Lyons & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson (Fox Theater, St. Louis, Missouri, circa. 12/1932) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Al Lyons & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson  (Coronado Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, circa. 12/1932) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Al Lyons & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson (Meadow Brook Country Club, St. Louis, Missouri, circa. 12/1932) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Fanchon & Marco Revue (Paramount Theater, Los Angeles, 8/29/1933-9/4/1933) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. (Featured act during live vaudeville show before feature film One Sunday Afternoon.) Tom Coakley & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson (The Rose Room, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California, 6/16/1934-9/25/1934) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Emil Coleman & His Orchestra featuring Kay Thompson (King Cole Room, The St. Regis Hotel, New York, NY, 2/13/1936-3/18/1936) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. The American Red Cross Benefit for Flood Sufferers (Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY, 2/11/1937) One of the all-star headliners. Kay Thompson (The Famous Door, New York, NY, 2/6/1940-2/19/1940) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. Variety Revue (Loew's State Theatre, New York, NY, 2/9/1940-2/22/1940) Singer, pianist, vocal arranger. (Featured act during live vaudeville show before feature film Balalaika.) New York’s Stage Door Canteen (in the basement of the 44th Street Theatre, New York, NY, 2/12/1943) The American Theatre Wing’s year-round free variety shows for servicemen. On this night, the bill included Kay Thompson, Kay’s harmony group the Four Teens, Frank Sinatra, Carol Bruce, Helen Young, Gene Williams, Johnny Long and his orchestra, and the company of Rosalinda (the Johann Strauss operetta, currently playing upstairs at the 44th Street Theatre). Firestone Company's Christmas Benefit for Less Fortunate Children (Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California, 12/22/1945) One of the all-star headliners.   Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers (first tour): The Round-Up Room, El Rancho Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 8/6/1947-8/19/1947. Tahoe Village Casino Hotel, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 8/20/47-9/10/1947. The Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 9/11/1947-9/24/1947. The Peacock Court, Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, California, 9/26/1947-10/9/1947. Ciro's, Hollywood, California, 10/14/1947-12/15/1947. The Copa, Miami, Florida, 12/24/1947-1/13/1948. The Mayfair Room, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 1/20/1948-2/13/1948. The Copa, Miami, Florida, 2/17/1948-3/15/1948. Le Directoire, New York, NY, 4/1/1948-6/2/1948. U.S. Savings Bond Benefit, Winter Garden Theater, New York, NY, 4/14/1948. Hospital Benefit, Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, 4/16/1948. American Newspaper Publishers Association Convention, Waldorf-Astoria, New York, 4/20/1948. Damon Runyan Cancer Fund Benefit, Le Directoire, New York, NY, 5/28/1948. The Mayfair Room, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 6/18/1948-7/15/1948. The Piping Rock Casino Resort, Saratoga, New York, 8/2/1948-8/16/1948. The Oval Room, Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts,  9/17/1948-10/7/1948. Variety Revue, The Roxy, New York, NY, 10/15/1948-11/7/1948. (Featured act during live vaudeville show before feature film Apartment for Peggy.) The Mayfair Room, Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, 11/17/1948-1/11/1949. Copa City, Miami, Florida, 1/24/1949-2/20/1949. Kay Thompson and Her Trio (first line-up: George Martin, Buzz Miller & Lee Scott): Beverly Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, 10/20/1949-11/9/1949. The Mayfair Room, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois 11/11/1949-12/8/1949. La Boheme, Hollywood, Florida, 12/22/1949-12/31/1949. The Oval Room, Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, 1/11/1950-1/24/1950. The Garden Room, Sheraton-Biltmore Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island, 1/25/1950- 1/28/1950. Versailles, New York, NY,  2/1/1950-3/14/1950. Minnesota Terrace, Hotel Nicollet, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 5/4/1950-5/17/1950. Kay Thompson and Her Trio (second line-up: George Martin, Buzz Miller & Jimmy Thompson): Les Ambassadeurs, Paris, France, 6/12/1950-7/20/1950. Café de Paris, London, England, 8/28/1950-10/8/1950. The Round-Up Room, El Rancho Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 12/20/1950-1/2/1951. The Mocambo, Hollywood, California, 1/9/1951-1/29/1951. Kay Thompson and Her Trio (third line-up: George Martin, Buzz Miller & Jonathan Lucas): The Empire Room, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 2/22/1951-3/21/1951. Café de Paris, London, England, 4/9/1951-6/12/1951. Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers (reunion tour): Ciro's, Hollywood, California, 7/27/1951-9/1/1951. The Persian Room, The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, 9/28/1951-10/21/1951. The Century Room, Hotel Adolphus, Dallas, Texas, 10/29/1951-11/10/1951. The Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 11/19/1951-12/2/1951. The Empire Room, Hotel Statler, Washington, D.C., 12/24/1951-1/5/1952. Copa City, Miami, Florida, 1/27/1952-2/5/1952. Café de Paris, London, England, 2/18/52-3/29/1952. National Association of Broadcasters' 30th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 4/2/1952. The Empire Room, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 4/3/1952-5/14/1952. The Latin Casino, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa. late-May 1952-mid-June 1952. The Century Room, Hotel Adolphus, Dallas, Texas, 9/2/1952-9/16/1952. The Persian Room, The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, 9/18/1952-10/30/1952. The Vogue Room, Hotel Hollenden, Cleveland, Ohio, 10/31/1952-11/13/1952. The Oval Room, Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, 11/15/1952-11/28/1952. Normandie Roof, Mont Royal Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, circa 12/1952. The Emerald Room, The Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, Colorado, 1/1/1953-1/10/1953. The Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, California, 1/13/1953-1/26/1953. The Mocambo, Hollywood, California, 2/4/1953-2/24/1953. Los Angeles Press Photographers Association Grand Charity Ball (Hotel Statler, Los Angeles, 2/6/1953). The Ramona Room, The Last Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 3/2/1953-3/22/1953. The Latin Casino, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa. mid-April 1953-5/8/1953. Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 7/10/1953-7/23/1953. Kay Thompson (solo act): The Persian Room, The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, 1/7/1954-2/3/1954. The Empire Room, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 3/11/54-4/7/1954. Ciro's, Hollywood, California, 4/21/1954-5/9/1954. The Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, California, 5/18/1954-6/6/1954. Benefit for Castles in the Woods, City of Hope, California, 7/24/1954. Café de Paris, London, 9/20/1954-10/16/1954. Kay Thompson (revised act with Paul Methuen): The Persian Room, The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, 11/18/1954-12/22/1954. The Embassy Room, Balmoral Hotel, Miami, Florida, circa. January 1955. Normandie Roof, Mont Royal Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, circa. February 1955. Kay Thompson (reinstated solo act): Benefit for Charlie Morrison, The Mocambo, Hollywood, California, 3/8/1955. The Shamrock Hotel, Houston, Texas, circa. late-June 1955-early July 1955. Kay Thompson and Her Boys (Don Williams, Gordon Thorin, Bill Norvas and Paul Burton): Ciro's, Hollywood, California, 11/17/1955-12/1/1955. The John F. Kennedy Inaugural Gala (National Guard Armory, Washington, D.C., 1/19/1961) For the opening and closing of the show, Kay Thompson led the cast in an all-star parade singing “Walking Down to Washington.” Thompson also directed the entire show. Robert & Ethel Kennedy’s Eleventh Anniversary Dinner Dance (On the lawn of Robert Kennedy’s Virginia Estate, June 17, 1961) Accompanied by Lester Lanin and His Orchestra, Kay Thompson, Judy Garland and Ethel Merman sang “The Trolley Song” from Meet Me in St. Louis. Impromptu Performance (Blue Bar at the Osteria dell’Orso, Rome, Italy, circa 1963) Kitty D’Alessio, former president of Chanel, recalled, “One night, we were there with Lee Engel, Bobby Mackintosh, and Lennie Gershe. Kay Thompson sat down at the piano and began to play ‘My Funny Valentine.’ Then she became the vocal director and made this group sing this, and that group sing that, and then she put us all together. It was just magical.” Ken Scott’s “Burn the Bra and Bury the Girdle” Fashion Show (Rome, Italy, 1968) Kay Thompson opened the show as a celebrity runway model in a “slinky black and white print with a long, black ostrich boa,” then swooped over to a white grand piano and performed “30s songs while the models paraded.” After-Party Honoring Ralph Blane (Ted Hook’s Backstage Restaurant, 318 W. 45th Street, New York, N.Y., next to the Martin Beck Theatre, 3/21/1976) In the piano bar, at the behest of Ralph Blane, Kay performed an impromptu, one-hour concert, singing and keyboarding her own unique arrangements of “I Love a Violin” (Kay Thompson), “I Got Rhythm” (George & Ira Gershwin), “Myrtle of Sheepshead Bay” (Kay Thompson), “Louisiana Purchase” (Irving Berlin), “Light Up the Candles on the Birthday Cake” (Kay Thompson-Ralph Blane), etc.
Kayographies
Think Pink! Think Pink! Think Pink! Part One: Headlining Part Two: Behind the Scenes Part Three: The Music Part Four: The Books
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