March 19, 2020

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June Christy- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

June Christy, affectionately known as The Misty Miss Christy (also the title of her 1956 release for Capitol Records), was a legendary voice in cool jazz.  She was born Shirley Luster in Illinois and began singing professionally while still in high school.  She changed her name to Sharon Leslie while working with the Boyd Raeburn Band.  When Anita O'Day left Stan Kenton's band in 1945, Christy auditioned and won the vocalist spot, then changing her name one more time, to June Christy.

She and the Kenton Orchestra would have a series of hits from their collaboration, including "Tampico" which became Kenton's biggest selling record, reaching one million in sales and peaking at #3 on the record charts.  Christy would go on to appear on several Kenton releases, among them "Artistry in Rhythm" and "Innovations in Modern Music." After two stints with the Kenton Orchestra, she embarked on a solo career in the late 1940s, and in 1956 released one of two signature albums for Capitol, "Something Cool" with arranger and bandleader Pete Rugolo.  Rugolo had been an arranger for the Kenton band and would continue to work with Christy through the 1950s.  The album "Something Cool" essentially launched the vocal cool jazz scene.  

Christy continued to tour throughout the world until deciding to come off the road in the early 1960s to focus on her family and personal life.  She would return to the scene in the late 70s and record one final album, "Impromptu" in 1977.  Her sensual voice and the deep feeling of her style have secured her place in jazz vocal history.