About The Artist
In progress as of October 21, 2023
Charles Alva and Mae Adams gave birth to Kay in April of 1941. The family was living on a farm near Vera, TX (shown today as an unincorporated area of Texas). She was what they call a 'typical tomboy' following her brother JImmy around fishing and swimming. Her father then moved the family to Vernon, TX where he worked in the oil fields.
Her father played the fiddle during gatherings - at barbecues or watermelon cuttings; she was right there to sing along. She got to learn the words to many of the songs because her dad would buy the country music magazines, such as Country Song Roundup or Cowboy Songs. The Adams family eventually grew to include another brother for Kay and two sisters.
In 1964, she injured her leg while mowing the lawn, an injury that resulted in an infection and almost caused her to lose her leg. During that time, the family moved to Bakersfield, CA. It was said she was rather distraught, thinking she would not find or hear any country music there. But she was soon watching a daily country music show on TV. That show inspired her to battle to get back on her feet and get out into the word again. And she did. She went down to the station and auditioned for the show. She had met Cliffie Stone and Dusty Rhodes (who became her manager). Eventually she got to meet Buck Owens and she was signed to the OMAC Artist Corporation and recorded her first record in October 1965. She began touring with the Buck Owens show in 1966.
On February 28, 1966, the inaugural Southern California Country and Western Music Academy Awards were handed out at the Hollywood Palladium in fron of 1,200 attendees. This would be the forerunner to today's Academy of Country Music (ACM) organization. Buck Owens won top Male Vocalist while Bonnie Owens took home Top Female Vocalist Honors. Kay Adams was in tears when she accepted her award for Most Promising Female Vocalist at the dinner. Merle Haggard took home Most Promising Male Vocalist. Roger Miller won the overall award as Country Music Man of the Year.
In 1966, Kay along with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos appeared before over 12,000 fans in Bakersfield as part of a show sponsored by radio station KUZZ. It was held at Hart Memorial Park. The crowd showed up in spite of the 107 degree heat of the day. Other artists appearing that day were Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Louise Louvett, Ronnie Sessions. A new singer by the name of Bobby Austin, recording on the Tally label was also there. Buck's son, Buddy Alan entertained the fans as well with a few tunes and learned that Buddy would soon be going into the studio to record. Bonnie Owens was there as were Merle Haggard, Jeanie O'Neal, Bobby Durham, and Freddy Hart were also among the entertainers.
Radio and television personalities that were part of the show were Larry Daniels and the Buckshots of KUZZ, Wes Sanders and his Hoedown Gang from Channel 17 along with Dave Stogner and the Kountry Korner Gang from Channel 29. The crowd was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of two unannounced guests - Roger Miller and Tommy Collins. This was the second year for the "Fun In The Sun Picnic" as the show was promoted. They only had 4,000 fans in 1965. And with triple the attendance in 1966, one only wonders what the 1967 get together might bring.
In October 1966, Kay was once again part of a large gathering of entertainers. On October 1, it was reported the "biggest gorup of outstanding guest stars" appeared on the famed WWVA Jamboree at Jamboree Hall in Wheeling, WV. Headlining the list of stars were Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens along with Tommy Collins, Dick Curless, Kay Adams, Sandy Mason and a host of the usual Jamboree regulars. Folks like Doc Williams, Kenny Roberts, Charlie Moore, Bill Napier, Leon Ashley, Crazy Elmer, Margie Singleton, Betty Amos, Mary Lou Turner, George Adams, Skinny Clark and Lee Moore. Lee Sutton handled the emcee chores.
In October 1969, Kay wrapped up a Las Vegas engagement at the Nashville Nevada Club. She was given a going away party. She left on Saturday night, October 25, 1969 for a tour of Vietnam.
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Appearance History This Month
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