Kenneth A. Gardner
March 20, 1913
Lake View, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||July 26, 2002 (aged 89)|
Manhasset, New York, U.S.
|Known for||Singer in Guy Lombardo's band|
Kenneth A. Gardner was born on March 20, 1913 in Lake View, Iowa, the eldest son of Norman and May Chambers Gardner. He had two younger brothers, Robert and Edward. During his teens, Kenny went to Neligh, Nebraska, to live with an aunt and uncle. He attended Creighton University and had part-time jobs at a movie theater and a mortuary. He later moved to California and attended San Diego State College, where he studied engineering.
Gardner was singing on radio as early as 1936, when he was among those appearing on an episode of California Hour. In 1946-47, he was the male singer on Easy Does It, a quarter-hour daily daytime variety program on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
He joined Guy Lombardo's band in 1940, singing the signature hits, "Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think", and "Frankie and Johnny". While in the band, he took time out to serve in World War II, where he was wounded and earned two Purple Hearts. After retiring in 1978, a year after Guy Lombardo died, Gardner became more involved in local activities in the Plandome, New York area. In 1941, he voiced the role of "Dick" in the animated comedy film, Mr. Bug Goes to Town. He also sang "Where Do We Go From Here" in the film, which was written by Percy Wenrich.
- Goldman, Ari L. (2002-07-31). "Kenny Gardner, 89, Guy Lombardo's Crooner". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- "Kenny Gardner". Des Moines Register News Datacentral. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
- "Matzenauer Is Heard Tonight in Blues Songs". California, Oakland. Oakland Tribune. April 20, 1936. p. 24. Retrieved February 11, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4, pg. 106.
- Roberts, Joe (December 28, 1977). "Lombardo: old acquaintance not forgotten". California, Van Nuys. Valley News. p. 25 – via Newspapers.com.
- Oliver, Myrna (2002-08-02). "Kenneth Gardner, 89; Sang With Guy Lombardo's Band". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-08-05.