Where did the baby name Shaye come from in the 1950s?

Singer and actress Shaye Cogan (1923-2009)
Shaye Cogan (circa 1952)

The names Shea, Shae, Shay, and Shaye began appearing (as girl names) in the U.S. baby name data in the early ’50s — right around the time singer and actress Shaye Cogan (born Helen J. Coggins) first became famous.

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: 10 baby girls named Shaye
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 5 baby girls named Shaye
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 12 baby girls named Shaye [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted

In fact, the three initial appearances of the spelling “Shaye” happen to correspond to three high points of Shaye Cogan’s career.

First, she was a regular on the The Vaughn Monroe Show (1950-1951), a television variety show that included musical numbers and skits.

Second, she was in a pair of Abbott and Costello movies: Comin’ Round the Mountain (1951) and Jack and the Beanstalk (1952).

And third, she sang in the Alan Freed movie Mister Rock and Roll (1957), which featured future legends Little Richard and Chuck Berry (along with less-well-remembered stars like Clyde McPhatter and Ferlin Husky). Shaye wasn’t terribly “rock and roll,” but she was married to a music industry executive, which is no doubt how she landed the part.

Singer Shaye Cogan (1923-2009)
Shaye Cogan (circa 1957)

How do you feel about the baby name Shaye? How do you prefer to spell it?

Sources: Shaye Cogan – AllMusic, Shaye Cogan – Wikipedia, SSA

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