Vocalist Kay Davis attended high school in Evanston, Indiana, and trained as a classical vocalist at Northwestern University. In 1944 she auditioned for Duke Ellington on a dare. Ellington was interested and attended one of her college recitals. When it ended he asked her to join his orchestra.
During her six-year stay with Ellington, Davis often sang without words, using her voice as an instrument. She can be heard on such Ellington classics as ''Creole Love Call,'' ''A City Called Heaven,'' ''Translucency,'' and ''On a Turquoise Cloud.'' She retired from the music business in 1950 to get married.