Burt Bacharach

 

Kay with Bruce Forsyth, Max Bygraves & unidentified friend at The Astor Club

 

 

Kay with singer Clare Torry & legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer

 

 

 Dusty Springfield

 

 

 Kay Garner has worked with such luminaries as Tony Bennett, David Soul, Johnny Mercer, Burt Bacharach, Elton John, Dionne Warwick, David Gates, Lou Reed, Mama Cass, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano, John Lennon, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Dusty Springfield, Tom Springfield, Les Reed, Barry Mason, Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Doris Troy, Malcolm Roberts, Tubby Hayes, Ted Heath, Oscar Peterson, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink, The Moody Blues, PJ Proby, Billie Davis, PP Arnold, Madeline Bell, James Last, Cerrone, etc, to name just a few.

Kay started singing at a very early age in Hull (in fact still in school) singing jazz in the evening with various groups, Teddy Barker was a big help to her, and a few gigs with (Tubby Hayes) plus various big bands. She went to London with Top Rank on the Ballroom circuit singing at the Astoria with fine musicians like … Derek Watkins, Derek Wadsworth, in fact the TOP musicians. This was around1960? … then worked with David Ede and The Rabin Band, and with them did her first broadcast on a live Radio show every Friday at 1pm called (Go Man Go) in 1962.
From there she did Jazz Club on radio, plus THE JAZZ GIRLS on TV from Ronnie Scotts.
Kay was singing with The Rabin Band when David Gold of KPM (who did arrangements for the band) asked her to do a SESSION for a friend of his.
This friend was Keith Mansfield.
She did some high vocals on one track, and later, the session singers arrived to do the rest of the session. One of them had an accident on the way, couldn't make the session, and they were left with only two singers. Keith asked Kay if she could read music. She said yes, and there she was, singing with REAL SESSION singers.
This was what Kay dreamed of.

Session singers/musicians were, and still are the CREAM of the business, or as Billie Davis calls them " The icing on the cake" of the music business.

On that first session were Jackie Lee (White Horses, Rupert the Bear) and I think Joan Baxter (who does a great Marilyn Monroe) and has stories no-one would believe …. And all TRUE. They asked for my number. Word got around. I was IN.

The next session was with Madeline Bell and Lesley Duncan for a Dusty Springfield Album at the old "Philips" studio at Marble Arch.
This was around 1966? Madeline and Lesley have the memory. Kay needs help with dates. (Not the edible kind)
Kay, Madeline, Lesley and Sue, in various combinations, ( Madeline went on to have hits with Blue Mink) continued working with Dusty on records/albums and LIVE shows (like The Talk of the Town) until Dusty left for America.

Kiki Dee had left the trio with Madeline and Leslie, to go solo, and I believe Keith or Dave Gold recommended Kay for the Dusty session.

Keith was the musical director on Kay's FIRST EVER NO.1. single as a session singer. That single was "Everlasting Love" …. By Love Affair in around 1968.

With the success of Everlasting Love, Kay, Madeline & Lesley, were booked on everything. Working 3 sometimes 4 sessions a day. (Those really were the days).

Madeline points out now, that we were working so hard because we didn't charge for double tracking, typical, (we were NEW!) he he he
BUT, we learn pretty quickly, and having learnt, did from then on charge the going rate for the jobs done.
We were STILL busy.

 

 Steve Ellis of The Love Affair

 

Kay was finding it difficult keeping her evening singing job at The Monkey Island Hotel with Frazer Hayes of (The Frazer Hayes 4). She had to leave.
The rest is history!!!
She stuck to sessions and also became a Queen of the Jingles.
Martini -the first (and several more) with Composer Chris Gunning.
Bovril
DHL (ain't no mountain high enough)
Kelloggs (corn flakes, about 5 different ones over the years)
Twix
Typhoo Tea (no not one of the Monkeys) that's PG tips
Mars Bar's
Sharps
Brook bond Tea
Pot Noodles
McDonalds
Opal Fruits
British Gas
Ski Yoghurt
Cream Silk
Allegro (Cars)
Too many more to mention ….

 

Tony Bennett

Kay in the centre of things at the Tony Bennett sessions

 

 Kay also kept up with her JAZZ Roots ( David Lee, founder of Jazz FM asked Kay to do all the IDENTS for the opening of JAZZ FM … and there were JAZZ versions of MARTINI & other jazz jingles. Kay's first love is JAZZ. But as most Jazz musicians will tell you …. Jazz doesn't pay well!!!!
Kay is also a composer/song writer and has won Song festivals. Written theme's for Ford Escort, Mondeo etc.

Madeline, Lesley, Sue & Sunny, plus all session girls, Vicki Brown, of "The Breakaways" and her daughter Sam Brown, Maggie Stredder, of "The Ladybirds" Liza Strike, Barry St John, The Chanter Sisters, Stephanie De Sykes (Born with a smile), Clare Torry (Pink Floyd singer on Great Gig in the Sky) and many more, have worked together ever since, and have remained friends since those times.
Nearly 40 years. WOW!
Longer than most marriages.

Kay sang on Sue & Sunny's record "You can't by pass Love" Sunny was just 15.
We were all babies !!!!! BUT GOOD.

 

 Billie Davis

 Billie Davis (see left) and Kay met on Billie's own solo records, way back in the 60's. They were great tracks, "Tell Him", "Want you to be my Baby", "Anyway that you want me", plus Billie & Kay did backing vocals for "The Moody Blues" … "Nights in White Satin" being just one of them. Plus, they did BV's on most of the Decca artists, Billie was with that label at the time.
Kay had a couple of record released under her own name (she said they escaped) Squeeze me/ I still get jealous on the Oriole label, and a single on Pye as (Kay Slyboots Garner). PULEEEEESE!!!!!
From then on she sang Lead Vocals and got no credit like on "SUPERNATURE" "Give me love" and more for Cerrone.
She became a disco queen of the 80's. But we won't go there!!!!
Kay has worked on Radio and has done lots of TV series with … DUSTY, Dick Emery, The Two Ronnies, Morcambe & Wise, Benny Hill etc.

 

 Billie Davis, Simon Bell, Kay, Sue Glover, Danny Williams & his wife at Grosvenor House

 Billie and Kay met up again at the Grosvenor House Hotel in 2003?.
Dusty Springfield had a Heritage Plaque placed (after her death) in her name at her old address in Holland Park, and Kay was performing a tribute to her, with Madeline Bell, Simon Bell, (no relation), and Stevie Lange (known now as Stevie Vann Lange, and producer/ vocal coach to the stars).

Billie and Kay had plans for many more live shows, but sadly Kay was taken from us too early. She made her last solo appearance at Dusty Day 2007 in Ealing, singing "I Only Wanna Laugh" & "Piece Of My Heart", and made one more performance at Grosvenor House singing backup for Billie.

.............BACK TO KAY'S HOMEPAGE