As I’ve said before, during the big band era the bandleaders were the superstars of their day, and just like today’s big-name musical performers they often matched up romantically with glamorous actresses. In fact, Artie Shaw almost single-handedly conquered Hollywood, but today we’re talking about the lady who charmed bandleader Kay Kyser. Actress/model/singer Georgia Carroll was never a big star, but she was a featured vocalist with Kyser — billed as ‘Gorgeous Georgia Carroll’ — and her 1944 marriage to the bandleader lasted until his death in 1985. (She died at age 91 in 2011.)
Born and raised near Dallas, she was turning heads even as a teenager and was modeling while still in high school, but she was also a talented singer and an aspiring actress. Within a few years she’d moved to Hollywood and began showing up in small movie parts just as World War II was starting. Her movie career was a little hit and miss, but she was very successful as a model and within a couple of years had added band singer to her resume, joining Kyser’s popular group.
Kyser billed her as ‘Gorgeous’ Georgia Caroll, a name that was a little bit of a tongue-twister but was probably invented to take advantage of its similarity to that of wrestler ‘Gorgeous George’, the bleached blonde bruiser who was becoming a big national star at the time. In any case, she was a fan favorite in live shows and appeared with the band in several movies too, but after Kyser married her in 1944 — the first and only marriage for both — it didn’t take long for her to start thinking about a life after performing. Although she continued to do a little modeling, within a couple of years she had pretty much retired from singing and acting, and subsequently spent most of her time raising the couples’ three children — and she was still gorgeous.
Georgia Carroll – “There Goes That Song Again”