Kay also appeared at top nightclubs including San Francisco's austere Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, Hollywood's famed Ciro's in Los Angeles, and at the El Rancho Hotel in Las Vegas. She also recorded several phonograph albums, and appeared in a 1945 motion picture about the club where she had performed in her earlier years—"Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe" (the film also starred Betty Grable and Dick Haymes.) She also appeared with Cliff Robertson in 1961's "Underworld U.S.A." as well as 1969's "A Time For Dying", with Victor Jory and Audie Murphy. In 1974, she filmed "Ginger in the Morning" with Susan Oliver, Sissy Spacek, and Monte Markham.
Songs she popularized include "I'm Only A Bird In A Gilded Cage," "No! No! A Thousand Times No!!", "And The Band Played On", " Mention My Name In Sheboygan", and "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay."
She retired to operate a holiday resort dude ranch, but returned to show business following a devastating fire which destroyed her home. She headlined a month-long booking opening Milt Larsen's celebrated Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica, California, with Bernard Fox and Larry "Seymour" Vincent.