Which big-time bandleader and North Carolina native broke all sorts of attendance records, appeared in nearly a dozen movies, and became the top moneymaker in his field — all without learning to play a musical instrument? If you don’t say Kay Kyser, the "Old Perfesser" — that’s right, you’re wrong!

Leader of a student orchestra at the University of North Carolina, Kyser took his charisma — and his band — nationwide. His swing band hit it big once Ksyer began the "Kollege of Musical Knowledge" radio broadcast, which won huge ratings and sold-out audiences. From that springboard, Kyser appeared in movies and television, and did his part for World War II by entertaining U.S. troops at home and abroad.

A few years after the war, Kyser left show business at his peak of popularity, retiring with his cover-girl wife to Chapel Hill to raise a family and devote the remainder of his life to public service and spirituality. Among Kyser’s causes were supporting his alma mater, improving health care in the state, establishing public television and a highway safety program, and spreading the doctrine of Christian Science.



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A Tribute to Kay Kyser
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