James Kern ("Kay") Kyser (1905-1985) was a popular bandleader and radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s. Kyser graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was also senior class president. Because of his popularity and enthusiasm as a cheerleader, he was invited by Hal Kemp to take over as bandleader when Kemp ventured north to further his career. Following graduation, Kyser and his band, which included Sully Mason on saxophone and arranger George Duning, toured Midwest restaurants and night clubs and gradually built a following. They were particularly popular at Chicago's Blackhawk restaurant. The act was broadcast on the Mutual Radio in 1938 and then moved to NBC Radio from 1939 to 1949. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Kyser's band appeared in several motion pictures, usually as themselves. Unlike most bandleaders of the time, Kyser danced and sang with his band, as illustrated during the group's performance of "I Dug a Ditch" in Thousands Cheer and other film appearances.
After the war, Kyser's band continued to record hit records. Kyser had intended to retire following the end of the war, but performance and recording contracts kept him in show business for another half decade. In 1949 and 1950, "Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge" aired on NBC-TV. After a four-year hiatus, the "Kollege of Musical Knowledge" was revived by Tennessee Ernie Ford, prior to the launching of his own NBC program, The Ford Show from 1956-1961. In the 1970s, Kay ran the film and television department of the Christian Science Church in Boston. As for this great record (featuring a very advanced orchestral sound, already referring to the swing era), it was one of his very first ones, made in 1929. Vocal by Sully Mason.