Kathy Dee / Kathy Dearth
Aurora, mid 1950s-1968
Kathy Dee was one of NE Ohio's top country singers in the early 1960s. She was born in West Virginia but moved to Ohio with her family sometime after World War II. She eventually was married and settled in Aurora.
She got her start on Cleveland's Landmark Jamboree, a weekly TV show that ran on WEWS TV. She was paired with Dottie West, who like Kathy had moved to Cleveland after WWII for the job market. The Kay-Dots, as they were known, were weekly stars of the show. The TV show, while not in the same league as the WLW Barn Dance in Cincinnati, was big enough to get the attention of Nashville and soon the country capitol drew Dottie down there and started her superstar career.
Kathy continued to perform regionally with other Jamboree favorites like Rudy Thacker. In 1961 she was managed by Quentin "Reed" Welty in Wooster and started recording for his B-W label. Her performing name became Kathy Dee. Her second B-W 45, "If I Ever Get To Heaven" was a big regional hit and got her signed to United Artists, where he released the moderately successful "Unkind Words"/"Only As Far As The Door" and the less successful "I Promise Not To Cry".
In 1965 she was playing locally in with her backing band, "Kathy's Klowns". that included Jack Bower (lead guitar), Bill WIllis (rhythm guitar), Jim Stump (drums), all from Akron, and Frank Haven (bass) from Wooster. They took their show to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, and all the way to Greenland for a military base tour.
In 1968 Kathy got another 45 released on Decca, a cover of the classic "Funny How Time Slips Away", a title that sadly foreshadows her life. Kathy suffered from Type 1 Diabetes, which first took her sight, and then her life in November 1968.
In addition to the 45s, there are two LPs, the first one on B-W and includes the four single sides and more. A year or so later, an LP for the budget label Guest Star which seem to be the same album less a couple cover versions.
Trail of Tears / The Ways of a Heart (PS). - B-W 611/2, 1962
If I Never Get To Heaven / Teardrops In My Heart - B-W 619, 1962
Only As Far as the Door / Unkind Words - United Artists 627, 1964
I Promise Not to Cry / Don't Leave Me Lonely Too Long - United Artists 687, 1964
Funny How Time Slips Away / The Shadow Of a Girl - Decca 32372, 1968
LP- DEElightful - BW 122, 1963
LP - Teardrops In My Heart - Guest Star 1445, 1964