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Kay Davis

Kay Davis, ca. 1944 (Couresy of Shorefront)

Katherine McDonald Wimp (better known by her stage name, Kay Davis) (1920 – ) was a classically trained vocalist, receiving her Masters Degree from Northwestern University in 1943.  She joined Duke Ellington’s band in 1944 as one of his trio of female singers and toured with the band throughout the U.S. and Europe in the 1940s before retiring from music in 1950.  She is known for her wordless vocal technique and for singing the debut of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” at Carnegie Hall in 1948.

To learn more about her, see the Wikipedia entry that includes an extensive list of her vocal work for Ellington:


You can also hear brief clips of Davis singing with the Ellington band at: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fvfwxq85ldhe~T3

One Response to “Kay Davis”

  1. EWHP says:

    Hello! We haven’t been able to include every Evanston woman of significance in our database as of yet. You are welcome to visit the Evanston History Center to do research and you can find out more about that at http://www.evanstonhistorycenter.org. Hope that helps!

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