Hi! I am Reni Kay. I have been a professional vocalist since age 14, and a songwriter/artist for "hundreds of songs"!
Music is my passion, and I love to share it.
I hope you enjoy!
Reni Musical History
My mother claims I sang before I talked, and I haven’t stopped since!
Mom was a classical pianist, well-trained, with a wonderful love of all types of music. My two sisters and I grew up around her Baldwin Baby Grand, singing or dancing or both.
We began singing harmony when we were in our pre-teens. I never knew there was such a thing as “alto” or “soprano” mom would just say to me “take the low part” and to my baby sister, Sharon “take the high part” Rosi would take the melody, and off we’d go!
By the time I was fourteen, we were singing professionally. We were known as the “K Sisters” and had the distinct honor of being the first vocal entertainment ever hired by the Shakey’s Pizza Parlors in Southern California. We also were the only vocalists that were members of the Maple Leaf Ragtime Club that met at Mickey Finns (anyone remember that place??)
We also were considered to replace the Lennon Sisters on the Lawrence Welk Show, but decided we liked our mini skirts and didn’t want to give them up, so nixed the idea of a contract there!
After a trip to Nashville, an appearance on the Ralph Emery Show, and a gig at the King of the Road Hotel, we came back to California, and let the dreams of being a wife and mother replace our dreams of show business.
Those dreams came crashing down in my life after seven pregnancies, three live births, and all my children dying in infancy. My marriage crumbled under the sorrow too. I sought refuge in the music, finding consolation and giving voice to the pain by writing songs.
Living then in Northern California commune style with our entire family together again, we formed a family band and performed around the North State.
A move to Kansas City started a whole new era in my musical adventures. As the owner and publisher of a magazine for Musicians called The Lead Sheet, I became deeply entrenched in the business of music. The magazine branched out into a whole variety of musical excursions i.e. serving on the Board of The Kansas City Songwriter’s Association, booking artists, sponsoring and running open mikes etc.
I also had the joy of writing the music for three Children’s Plays that were produced and performed in the Blue Valley School District, as well as writing songs for a Renaissance Fair Act. I also performed in these groups as well.
For ten years the music has been highly focused on my career as a Salvation Army Officer (minister), where I used the musical skills I have to write music, perform, teach and lead in a variety of Christian venues. It also is the reason that I wound up in Washington State in the beautiful Northwest.
I have performed as a solo, as well as participating in several bands as a musician and vocalist during the years. My range of musical tastes in eclectic to say the least from Christian, to Blues, to Jazz, to Country, to Pop, Rock and my originals (I struggle finding the right genre for them every time I upload a song!).
Currently I am finding my way around the Portland area, and investigating the music scene here. I serve as Vice President for the Portland Songwriter's Associaton.
My youngest sister is local again, and we are putting together our talents we both are writers and performers to just make music again!
I am continuing to write songs and perform whenever and wherever and don’t intend to stop till I am so old and feeble I can’t carry my own guitar!
My current activities are surrounding producing the hundreds of songs that have been waiting for years to be produced. With the new technology, I have a complete home studio and I am having a lot of fun learning and producing the music I have written in the last twenty plus years. I'm also able to use this "studio" to capture some great artists that I have "discovered" in my wanderings.
I play live whenever I can, as playing dead is a trick left only to my dog. I love entertaining and performing. Currently in the Portland, OR area, but have performed over the states for many years.
My most poignant moment was in a little club in Kansas City, where I had a solo gig, just me and my guitar. I was trying my best to please everyone in the crowd, and ended up pleasing no one. Over the loud noise of an unattentive crowd, I closed my eyes, and decided that I would sing to please myself. I did that, and noticed after a few moments that the place was quiet except for my voice and guitar. I opened my eyes to find that every eye was on me, and every ear listening to my song.
That was when I realized the most important lesson in my musical life, sing for yourself, at least you please an audience of one, and who knows you might just please the crowd.
Genre - Country, Blues, Broadway
Artists - Patsy Cline, K.D. Lang, Ella Fitzgerald, Kay Starr, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Jo Stafford, Bessy Smith, Norah Jones.
Takamine Flat Top Accoustic Electric, Baldwin Baby Grand Piano, Yamaha PSR-SQ16, computerized "virtual" recording studio, TASCAM DP-01FX,