Saturday, March 28, 2015

FORGOTTEN ONES: DEE KEATING

There were so many big band singers in the 1930s and 1940s. Some made it like Jo Stafford and Peggy Lee. However, for all the stars that made it there were many vocalists that were forgotten after the big band era ended in 1945. One of those singers was the great Dee Keating. She was born in Malverne, NY about 1920  and passed away in Bellmore, NY in the year 1965 of an accidental overdose.

In the late 30s, the goal of many young women was to be the girl vocalist in a name dance band. Al Donahue's band recorded and toured and was successful but Al was not a great instrumentalist or singer. In fact he was basically a corny society violin player that changed his band's style to swing in the 30s. So, although Al didn't have the most famous band in the land, it was definitely a competent swing band with good musicians and good charts. Dee got lucky in 1939. Paula Kelly (of future Modernaire fame) the girl vocalist in Al's band got pregnant 

Dee then married the lead trumpet player in the band, Hank Madelina.  This didn't stop Hank from quitting the band abruptly in 1939 and leaving them in Cincinnati OH.  Well they managed to find a 16 year old trumpet prodigy named Ray Anthony to take over the lead chair. He got very friendly with Dee but she was a woman and he was a teenager. Plus she was still married to Hank. Fast forward to 1942. Ray had left to play with Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey and then form his own band in the Navy.  Hank was back with Al Donahue and Dee gave birth to a girl named Patty. After a short maternity leave, Dee stayed with Al Donahue until 1945. (Her relatives took care of Patty) This is when Ray got out of the service, formed a great dance band, got a contract with Capital Records and kept his band going, in one form or another, until just a few years ago. (at 91, Ray is still in good shape and is Hugh Hefner's best friend) 

Dee went with Ray's band, her name at this point, being Dee Anthony.  In 1952, Ray Anthony divorced Dee to marry blonde bombshell starlet, Mamie Van Doren. Dee then became a lady of leisure in Manhattan. (Ray paid her lots of alimony and Patty was kept conveniently out of the picture by being sent off to boarding school) One of her boyfriends being Artie Shaw..  She ended her life in an accidental overdose while living with a CBS cameraman on Long Island in 1965...




I want to thank Dee's nephew Jim Coleman for all the information he provided in this article...

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Dee Keating's daughter Patty, please contact me...

1 comment:

  1. I would love to find Pat Anthony. We were friends when we were in high school. My name was Linda Grafton then.

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