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for Kyser, Kay, 1905-1985
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Musician and Professor Kay Kyser has returned to Chapel Hill for his retirement. Kyser attended UNC in Chapel Hill in the 1920s and found his path as a musical leader. The Kay Kyser Band started small in the mid-1920s before expanding and playing in over 40 colleges in a large American tour. The Kyser band even performed on radio in 1933 and had a successful radio show for over ten years.
Kay Kyser, NBC's genial maestro is a native of Rocky Mount and a graduate of the University of North Carolina who has climbed the ladder of musical fame.
The big band leader who found fame in Hollywood and New York faded into obscurity once he returned to his home state. Kay Kyser, at the height of his fame during the Great Depression and World War II, scored 35 top ten hits, despite not being able to read sheet music or play an instrument. He earned fame by the zaniness and sense of humor displayed during his band performances.