Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, singer Irene Daye landed her first professional singing job with orchestra leader Dan Murphy in 1935 shortly before her high school graduation. She flew back to her hometown on graduation night to receive her diploma. Daye remained with Murphy two-and-a-half years before joining Mal Hallett’s band around the beginning of 1938. In mid-1938, bandleader Gene Krupa heard her sing at an engagement in Philadelphia and asked her to try out for his group. When her night’s work with Hallett had ended, she made a 4 a.m. audition and landed the job.
With Krupa, Daye found success, singing on such hit records as “Drum Boogie” and “Drummin’ Man.” Daye remained with Krupa until February 1941, when she quit and travelled to the West Coast to marry left-handed trumpeter Edward “Corky” Cornelius, who had recently left Krupa to join the Casa Loma Orchestra. She then sang for Sam Donahue, who had also recently left Krupa to front his own band again.
After the birth of her daughter in 1943, Daye retired from show business. Sadly, Cornelius passed away from nephritis in August of that year, and Daye returned to singing, joining Charlie Spivak by October. With Spivak, Daye found even greater success, making several hit records with the band, including “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” “Golden Earrings” and “I’ll Never Say Goodbye.”
Daye left Spivak in September 1945 to try her luck solo, doing radio work. She returned to Spivak in mid-1947. Daye and Spivak eventually found romance and married in January 1950. Daye then retired from singing again.
In the late 1950s, Spivak and Daye moved to Miami, Florida, where he fronted a small outfit with Daye managing his business affairs. Illness forced him to retire briefly in 1963. After recovering, he led bands in Las Vegas and Miami before organizing another small outfit in 1967 that played regularly at the Ye Olde Fireplace restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, with Daye as vocalist. Daye battled cancer during the last years of her life, finally losing her fight in 1971, age 53.