Kathy Linden is a singer from New Jersey who had two memorable hits in the late 50's in addition to a number of other songs that she recorded.
She was born in 1938 and grew up in Burlington, New Jersey. At age six she began playing piano and violin and taking lessons in both. She also sang in a string quartet as a child, traveling mostly to parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to perform. In her late teens she studied at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, while taking the violin very seriously. She sang pop music songs of the day with a local group -- a lot of Doris Day! -- and came in contact with Joe Leahy, with National Records in New York City. Leahy recognized that Kathy had a splendid singing voice and this led to her first recording, It's Just My Luck to Be Fifteen, and a recording contract with Felsted Records. It had been recorded in early 1957 by the Poni-Tails; Linden's version, released in September, 1957, met with little commercial success, but it showed that she could sing.
In 1911 Joe Goodwin, Herman Paley and James Kendis had written a song titled Billy. Wee Bonnie Baker, who sang in a bit of a little girl voice, recorded the song with Orrin Tucker & His Orchestra and put it in the top ten in 1939. Kathy Linden was given the song and recorded it with Joe Leahy conducting the orchestra as well as providing the background vocal, on Felsted. The song was a sensation in early 1958, going to number seven and putting Kathy Linden on the map. She was on American Bandstand, Steve Allen, Lawrence Welk, Ed Sullivan, and other television shows.
Kathy continued recording on the Felsted label, most notably with songs such as You'd Be Surprised and Somebody Loves You. She had a soft voice, excellent elocution, and a pleasing delivery. Jack Vaughn was the program director at WNAX Radio in Yankton, South Dakota. He wrote a song titled Goodbye Jimmy, Goodbye, a soft ballad and one that Kathy Linden liked very much. Her recording of the song, once again with Leahy directing the orchestra, became her second and last top forty entry in the spring of 1959, and went all the way to number eleven. Kathy and her wonderful singing voice had struck a cord with the record-buying public. Also that year she released You Don't Know Girls.
Kathy moved on to Monument Records in Nashville, which did recordings for Roy Orbison. She began doing country songs with some of the great country musicians of the time. Some of these included Thats What Love Is in 1960 and So in Love (with You) the following year. She went to the West Coast and developed an interest in songwriting, recording her own composition of Put This Ring On My Finger. She went to Capitol Records and recorded Words as well as a (unreleased) duet with Glen Campbell, Trouble's Back In Town.
Kathy married and had three sons, she enjoyed riding horses, and continued with her songwriting, mostly Christian music. She also taught piano, sang in Church, traveled abroad, and worked with prisoners. She was still recording CD's in the 90's, and living in California. She continues to write and record at times.
Kathy Linden, the pretty girl from New Jersey with the sweet voice, is remembered for her two giant hits in the late 50's, Billy and Goodbye Jimmy, Goodbye.
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