Kral, the male partner in one of jazz's most famous duos, Jackie and
Roy, died Friday, August 2nd at his home in Montclair, NJ. He was
80. The cause was reported to be congestive heart failure. Mr. Kral
was born in Cicero, IL in 1921. He took classical piano lessons as
a young boy but secretly taught himself to play jazz piano. He met
Jackie Cain, his wife and collaborator in 1947, while he was working
with a band in Chicago, and they were married in 1949.
He and Ms. Cain became
known as Jackie and Roy, performing a blend of pop, jazz and Latin
music. They recorded nearly 40 albums in 56 years of singing together,
producing hits like "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," "You
Inspire Me" and "It's a Lovely Day Today." In 1998, the duo was honored
with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Manhattan Association of
Cabarets & Clubs.
Mr. Kral continued to
perform with Ms. Cain as recently as June of 2002, although he had
been in declining health for several years.
Mr. Kral is survived by
his wife and three daughters, Dana Kral of Montclair, N.J.; Carol
May of Elgin, Ill.; and Tiffany Bolling-Casares of Los Angeles.
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