Ina Ray Hutton

Ina Ray Hutton

Ina Ray Hutton was born as Odessa Cowen in March of 1916.  As a child she was very talented performer and even performed on Broadway before she was 18.

In 1934, she was approached by a vaudeville agent to lead an all-girl orchestra, the Melodears.  As part of the group's formation, she asked her to change her name, which she did.  The group included trumpet player Frances Klein, Canadian pianist Ruth Lowe Sandler, saxophonist Jane Cullum, guitarist Marian Gange, trumpeter Mardell "Owen" Winstead and trombonist Alyse Wells during its existence. Hutton and her Melodears were one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts. (See video below) The group disbanded in 1939.

You can hear her songs Five O'Clock Whistle, Cabin in the Sky and How About Tomorrow Night on Swing City Radio.

In 1940 she led an all-male orchestra. The group recorded on the Elite and Okeh labels and was disbanded in 1949. She retired from music in 1968 and died on February 19th in 1984, aged 67.

Check out Ina Ray Hutton and other Big Band artists every night on Swing City: After Dark.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

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