Often called by her nickname, “Kitty,” vocalist Kathleen Lane sang with several major bands during the late 1930s, though she is best remembered for her time with Bunny Berigan. Lane started her career in northeastern territorial orchestras uring the mid-1930s. From 1934 through mid-1935, she appeared with Doc Peyton, where she was heard over CBS on Schenectady, New York, radio station WGY, and in late 1935 she sang for Freddy Shaffer. In 1935, she also appeared regularly on radio station WNCA and at the Club Normandie in Boston. In May 1936, Lane sang with the Weede-Meyer Orchestra but by August of that year had joined Ted Brownagle, sharing vocal duties with Virginia Bennett in both bands. In January 1937, she was working solo on the New York area club circuit, billed as the “sweetheart of swing.”
By April 1937, Lane had joined Charlie Barnet’s band, with whom she was billed as a blues singer. She recorded several songs with Barnet in May but soon after joined Glenn Miller as part of his second, ill-fated orchestra, debuting with the band during its June opening at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Miller’s 1937 band failed to find success and finally broke up in early 1938. By July 1938, Lane was with Isham Jones, where she received regular national radio exposure. She remained with Jones until at least September 1938. A Billboard review of her performance that month was negative, with the reviewer noting that she “hasn’t yet learned to sell a song to good advantage.”
Lane had joined Berigan by November 1938, where she finally began to gain attention as a singer, recording several now classic songs with the orchestra. She left Berigan sometime after April 1939, joining Bob Chester in July. A Billboard review of her performance with Chester noted that she “knows how to sell a song.”
Lane remained with Chester through September 1939, when she left for Red Norvo’s outfit. By November, though, she was with Bob Crosby, where she remained until at least January 1940. Lane retired from band work at some point soon after, marrying Jerry Johnson, who had worked as road manager for Barnet and Berigan. She returned to singing only briefly thereafter, filling in as vocalist for Chester’s orchestra in June 1940 when Dolores O’Neill, who had been her replacement, was out for an operation. In late 1940, she filled in with Woody Herman’s band until he could find a permanent replacement after his female singer, Dillagene, had left the orchestra due to illness.
Lane’s husband began working in the music publishing business in 1941, and in 1948 the couple bought a farm in Clinton, New Jersey. Lane gave birth to a daughter in April 1949.