Slavka Kolmatycki , akaGloria Kaye, was born in “moonshine” territory in northern
Alberta,Canada. In the 1960’s, when man was designing a space suit, and
preparing to take his first steps on the moon, Gloria spent her early years on
her parents farm living with no running water, no telephone, and little
communication with the rest of the world.But her brother,Paul , began sharing his love of music with his three
year old sister and it wasn’t long before they began performing in and around
their Ukrainian community. They recorded an album ( in Ukrainian ) when Gloria
was six,and it is still a popular selling CD in Ukrainian circles.
For one so small, her natural gift of a big voice and
professional presence soon caught the attention of people who felt ALL of
Canada needed to hear her and at nine years of age, Gloria Kaye began appearing
on Canadian National Television (The Tommy Hunter Show and other variety shows
of that day).The youngest
recording artist for RCA records Canada, BillBoard Magazine (foreign release),
marked Gloria’s Ukrainian single, entitled “Tak Tobi Traba Millie”, as a run
away hit in Romania.She was ten
years old, and it would also mark the end of her recording or performing in Ukrainian.
In her teens Gloria found herself jetting around the
world.She appeared on the Merv
Griffin Show in Los Angeles and began singing on commercials for Coke,
Pepsi,Tab,G.E. and more. She performed for people from all walks of life, from
Rodeo Riders to Royalty, and just shy of her 16th birthday, Gloria was signed
to EMI-Capital records in London, England. Her first European release was the
theme song to the movie “Last Tango In Paris”, starring Marlon Brando.
Back in Canada, Gloria was soon hosting her first
Canadian National Television Summer Replacement Variety Series called “The
Sunshine Hour”.The comic relief
featured a young John Candy, Andrea Martin, and Eugene Levy.
Representing Canada in the Pacific Song Festival held in
New Zealand, Gloria did Canada proud by winning “Outstanding Entertainer”.The following year she hosted the
televised event to 50 million people.
Her third Canadian Variety Series, “ Rock-It ”, had her
sharing the stage with artists such as Melissa Manchester, The 5th Dimension,
Minnie Riperton and many more.
At twenty-three, Gloria decided to make her stage debut
in the US.It took nine years but
papers for a Green card finally came through for her to be able to legally work
in the United States.Uncertain of
how she’d be received by American audiences, her doubts were put to rest in no
time.Sharing the stage with
veteran comedians such as Shecky Greene and Pat Cooper, soon found her in
Atlantic City with Bob Newhart.
After receiving rave reviews and a three week holdover at
the prestigious Diplomat Hotel in Florida, to her surprise, she was awarded a
CARBONELL for NIGHT-CLUB ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR.
When Gloria married, she moved from New York/Toronto to
Los Angeles to be with her husband, Emmy Award winning film composer, Richard
Bellis.She continued to perform
on stages around the world and her voice can be heard on various Disney Theme
Park attractions currently in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland Paris.
Also during this time, Gloria turned more and more to
song writing which allowed her to stay closer to home (her last live
performance as a singing artist was on the TODAY SHOW in New York with Jane
Pauley). She began writing songs for movies and television and, on a few, you can hear her sing.** Currently, You Tube has the Olsen Twins line dancing to Gloria
singing, “Cowgirl Wannabe” , a song she wrote for the movie, “How the West was
Gloria continues to write songs and is also writing a
children’s book (due out sometime in 2009), based on an old Ukrainian Folk tale
which will incorporate one of her songs.