1963 Kitty Kallen/Sandy Stewart – My Coloring Book
Two artists with similar backgrounds but very different careers recorded the song My Coloring Book and had nearly identical results.
Kitty Kallen was born in 1921 and began singing professionally on the radio before she was a teenager. She sang with Jimmy Dorsey band beginning in 1942 and the Harry James band beginning in 1945.
Kitty had thirteen top ten singles between 1943 and 1954. She had four four number one records, including It’s Been a Long, Long Time in 1945 and Little Things Mean A Lot in 1954.
Kitty lost her voice after a performance at the London Palladium in 1955 and stopped performing for four years. Her career never fully recovered.
In 1962, her single of My Coloring Book was a surprise hit that entered the charts the third week of December. The single reached #18 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1963. It was Kitty’s last single to reach the Hot 100.
Sandy Stewart was born in 1937 and began singing on the radio when she was only nine years old. She moved to New York City in the late fifties and began singing on a wide variety of television shows. She got work dubbing vocals for actresses in films and also sang on jingles. She sang on the Perry Como Show periodically from 1961 to 1963.
Sandy appeared on the Kraft Music Hall television show October 31, 1962, and sang My Coloring Book, probably before Kitty had even recorded the song. The response from viewers led to the release of Sandy’s first charting record. The single first charted the last week of December and peaked at #20 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1963.
They nominated Sandy’s version of My Coloring Book for the 1962 Grammy Award for the Best Solo Performance, Female, but the award went to Ella Fitzgerald.
Sandy continued releasing singles through the sixties, but like Kitty, she never reached the Hot 100 again.
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