Kitty Mann was a piano playing hillbilly musician from Alabama.
She had a bit of a unique style that they described as a rhythm all of her
own. "...She kicks off her shoes, and when her bare foot stomps the
piano pedal, the piano, her audience and everything comes alive..." is the
way they described her playing in a Cowboy Songs article. They said she
learned that 'boogie' beat from the negro family that worked on her
father's country farm. She would do 'swingy' spirituals that she learned
as a kid and attended many of the negro baptisms in the towns nearby.
When she was just 17 and fresh out of high school, she got her own band together
and toured the south and Alabama. She had shows that aired over WJJJ and WCOV
in Montgomery, Alabama, too.
She recorded at one time for the King record label, four spirituals at least.
And had another of her country songs recorded by Bob Newman also on the King label.
Southern DJ's such as Bob Watson who did the "Friday Night Frolics" program
over WSB in Atlanta and Joe Rumore on WVOK in Birmingham, Alabama would get
requests for her spiritual numbers. Two of them, "Guess I'll Take A Journey" and
"Paradise" were written by her.
Kitty also did personal appearances on the same shows with the name acts in the
business, too - including Little Jimmy Dickens and also appeared on Wally Fowler's
all-night Singing Convention in Montgomery.
The summer of 1952 saw her playing what was described as a successful engagement
at the Old Dutch Inn in Panama City Beach in Panama City, Florida.
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Songs No.28; September 1953, American Folk Publications, Inc.;