2007   APRIL 30   #120

Kay Martin - At Las Vegas

01 Another Man Down The Line (2:23)
02 Seven Bells Instead Of Seven Veils (3:14)
03 Baby, I've Got No More Tears To Cry (2:21)
04 The Book Mama Gave Me About Sex (2:50)
05 Greenback Dollar Bills (2:52)
06 The Night Before Christmas (1:56)
07 Ad-Lib Blues (2:06)
08 Up Your Chimney (2:30)
09 1 To 4 At The Door (3:22)
10 I'm The Hunter, You're The Tiger (2:25)
11 My Santa Daddy (2:42)
12 I Feel Like A New Man (2:27)

If it were not for the Internet, the works of Kay Martin, a one-time centerfold / nightclub entertainer / "party album" recording artist, would have been forever lost to the vinyl bins of America. Her six albums (that I know of) consistently sell on eBay for remarkable prices - including her most popular album: the 1962 Christmas album "I Know What He Wants For Christmas (but I don't know how to wrap it!)".

It was this album that led me to explore the works and career of Kay Martin. Born in Bakersfield, California and part Cherokee Indian, she began modeling which led her into exotic photo shoots and spreads in both Adam and Playboy magazines (if one were to believe her album liner notes).

She then met Jess Hotchkiss and Bill Elliott, worked out a nightclub act, and began billing themselves as "Kay Martin And Her Bodyguards". From 1953 to 1963, they headlined in Las Vegas and Reno casinos and travelled inbetween Hawaii and Fort Lauderdale where much of their "adult entertainment" material was recorded onto "live" albums - most of which were sold after the show in the lounge.

This album compiles several of the studio recordings made inbetween nightclub dates and features a little bit of everything: Kay the straight singer (she reworks both "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Halleujah I Love Her So"), Kay the naughty singer (her sly numbers must be heard to be believed), as well as The Bodyguards singing and cutting up.

I was excited to see three Christmas songs here but each one is a different take on "The Night Before Christmas" and Kay only sings on one of the songs.

In the early 1960s, Kay became the propietor of the Kay Martin Lodge, three miles south of downtown Reno, Nevada and settled into a normal non-show business life. She still owns the lodge and enjoys her privacy very much.

- Contributed by: CaptainOT

Images: Cover, Side A, Side B

Media: LP
Album: At Las Vegas
Label: Laff Records
Catalog: LAFF A-107
Credits: Jess Hotchkiss & Bill Elliott (singers/songwriters)
Date: 1970s