Regular readers will recall that I often write about ‘crooners’ and ‘songbirds’ — the vocalists of the big band era. In fact, if you put either word into the ‘search’ space on the left side you’ll find lots of evidence of my fondness for them. That being the case, I thought maybe it was time to feature another — a tall, gorgeous brunette named Ginny Simms.
Virginia Ellen Simms was born in Texas but grew up in California, where she began performing in the early 1930s as part of a college singing group. It must have worked out pretty well, because she embarked on a full-time career, and after a few years gaining experience she was signed as a singer by popular bandleader Kay Kyser.
Fans loved her and so did Kyser, who reportedly pursued her romantically. In addition to her regular singing duties, she was also one of the regulars on Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowlege, a comedy and musical routine that the group used in its live shows, on the radio, and even in movies.
Her association with Kyser continued during the early War years but she also began to venture into other areas, including the hosting of her own radio show. It became a huge hit with servicemen, not only for the music but also because she would often talk to them on the air and let them say hello to families at home.
She also made a number of movies, and although she was mostly chosen for singing roles she had beauty and star quality to spare. Although she didn’t become a huge movie star, she was often in the center of the Hollywood limelight, dating stars and movie big shots and eventually marrying hotel magnate Hyatt von Dehn.
In the post-war years, things would begin to slow down a little and by the early 1950s Ginny Simms was pretty much retired from performing and had left Hollywood — and Hyatt — behind. She would later become a very active businesswoman, working with her third husband in real estate. She died in 1994.
Ginny Simms – “How Long Did I Dream?”
8 thoughts on “Ginny Simms – From College To Kollege”
What a gorgeous voice. Don’t know how I missed her….
Thanks, Ralph. And by the way, I’ve changed the video to what I think is a better one.
Wow, thanks for the new video. She had the whole package, didn’t she? Great beauty and a lovely voice. It seems clear to me she had much training, both in singing and stagecraft–she really knew how to use her various instruments. The fact that her first ambition was to concertize on the piano is telling.
She was in Kay Kyser’s band at the same time as Merwyn Bogue ( “Ish Kabibble”). When he left the band he also went to Palm Springs, was involved in real estate and passed away there in 1994 as well. Do you know if they kept in touch or were involved together?
There was no mention of it in any of the sources I used but you would think they would have kept in touch. She married her third husband – realtor Donald Eastvold – in 1962 and they were still together when she died.
Ish Kabibble (Merwyn Bogue) worked for Ginny and her husband, Don Eastvold, for several years selling real estate. Eastvold was the former leut. gov of Washington state. Ish went all over the world selling for Ginny and don. They both (Ish and Ginny)ended up in Palm Springs where they died within 6 months of each other.
Ish Kabibble’s extremely distant cousin, a woman from Colorado died very unexpectedly in Colorado. That woman from Colorado whose mother’s maiden name is Bogue.
Thanks for the info, V.E.G. (I deleted the duplicate.)