Kay Musical Instrument Company

Kay Musical Instrument Company

Kay Musical Instrument Company was a notably prolific US manufacturer of musical instruments that operated from the 1930s through 1960s.

It was formally established in 1931 from the assets of the former Stromberg-Voisinet company by businessman Henry "Kay" Kuhrmeyer. The company initially manufactured only traditional folk instruments, but eventually grew to make a wide variety of stringed instruments, including violins, cellos, banjos, upright basses, and a variety of different types of guitars including Spanish acoustics, Hawaiian lap steels, hollowbody acoustic-electrics, and solidbody electrics. Some of Kay's lower-grade instruments were marketed under the Knox and Kent brand names.

Kay also made guitar amplifiers, beginning with designs carried over from the old Stromberg company. Kay eventually subcontracted its amplifier production to Chicago music industry rival Valco in the 1950s.

In addition to manufacturing instruments for sale under its own brands, Kay was also a very prolific manufacturer of "house branded" guitars and folk instruments for other Chicago-based instrument makers, and, at times, even for major department stores including Sears and Montgomery Ward.

Kay merged with Valco in 1967, then dissolved in 1968 due to financial problems.

The Kay name and some of its trademarks (such as Kent and Knox) were later acquired by Japanese business concerns who went on to market inferior imported guitars and amplifiers under those brands.Fact|date=May 2008


* [http://kingofkays.com King of Kays] - History of the Kay company and information and photos of vintage Kays.
* [http://www.vintageguitar.com/brands/details.asp?ID=126 VintageGuitar.com] - 1000 Years of the Guitar, Part 2
* [http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1257039 Everything2] - A short timeline of Kay and Engelhardt upright basses.
* [http://www.kaybass.com/history.htm KayBass.com] - History

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kay guitar company — primarily produced inexpensive department store style guitars from the 1930s to the 1960s. Kay guitar is a part of the Kay Musical Instrument Company that has manufactured professional and student instruments since the 1890s.Kay also produced a… …   Wikipedia

  • Kay K-161 ThinTwin — The Kay ThinTwin guitar. The Kay K 161 ThinTwin electric guitar made from 1952 1959, was one of the longest produced guitars by Kay Musical Instrument Company. The K161 Thin Twin was commonly referred to as the Jimmy Reed guitar. Introduced not… …   Wikipedia

  • Kay — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Kay imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Kay may refer to:A female first name:* Kay Elson, Australian Liberal Party politician * Kay Hull, Australian …   Wikipedia

  • Kay Guitars — Kay ist ein Markenname, unter dem seit 1934 Gitarren und andere Saiteninstrumente produziert werden. Obwohl die Instrumente von Kay im Einsteigerbereich angesiedelt sind, genießen besonders die E Gitarren aus den 1950er und 1960er Jahren bei… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • musical — musically, adv. musicality, musicalness, n. /myooh zi keuhl/, adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or producing music: a musical instrument. 2. of the nature of or resembling music; melodious; harmonious. 3. fond of or skilled in music. 4. set to or… …   Universalium

  • Little Shop of Horrors (musical) — This article is about the musical. For other uses, see Little Shop of Horrors (disambiguation). Little Shop of Horrors Original Cast Album Music Alan Menken Lyrics …   Wikipedia

  • The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical) — Infobox Musical name= The Phantom of the Opera caption=Logo music=Andrew Lloyd Webber lyrics=Charles Hart Richard Stilgoe book=Andrew Lloyd Webber Charles Hart Richard Stilgoe basis=1911 book Le Fantôme de l Opéra by Gaston Leroux… …   Wikipedia

  • John Kay (musician) — Infobox Musical artist Name = John Kay Img capt = John Kay at the 2007 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival Img size = 300px Landscape = Background = solo singer Birth name = Joachim Fritz Krauledat Alias = Born = birth date and age|1944|04|12 Died =… …   Wikipedia

  • Jazzcello — Okkyung Lee (Moers 2006) Jazzcello bezeichnet die Rolle des Cellos und seiner wichtigsten Instrumentalisten im Jazz. Das Cello war – im Unterschied zu seinen „Verwandten“ Violine und Kontrabass – in der Jazzmusik lange Zeit ein exotisches… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Valco — was a prolific manufacturer of guitars, guitar amplifiers, and other musical instruments from the 1940s through 1967. History In the 1940s, Valco was formed by three business partners and former owners of the National Dobro Company; Victor Smith …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”