McLaughlins, von Coellns & Extended Family

Big Bands Play On at the Casino

Beginning in 1934, the casino hosted Big Bands of the era which were broadcast by CBS continually until the war. At its peak, Kay Kyser and his band had over 6,200 people dancing to him on May 8, 1940

December 1940: Crowning Kay Kyser

Mary Herbert Pollok (left) crowns big band leader Kay Kyser, while Avalon City Manager E.R. Pollok (right) crowns band member Ginny Simms, December 1940.

Kay Kyser in 1939-40 according to his website, "Kyser orchestra opens at Catalina Island casino, completes first film for RKO in Hollywood, That’s Right-You’re Wrong, co- starring Lucille Ball and Adolphe Menjou. Plays Gone With The Wind premiere in Atlanta, records multi-million seller, Three Little Fishes for Brunswick parent company, Columbia. 1940 sees the band at the top of the charts continually (as in ‘39), and 2nd film You’ll Find Out opens in late ‘40, with guest appearances on radio show by Kay’s 3 costars, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Peter Lorre."

Listen to Kay and Ginny in Two Sleepy People

This page last updated Sunday, 22-Oct-2006 12:19:12 PDT,

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