Ina Ray Hutton

Ina Ray Hutton

born on 13/3/1916 in Chicago, IL, United States

died on 19/2/1984 in Ventura, CA, United States

Ina Ray Hutton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ina Ray Hutton (March 13, 1916 – February 19, 1984) was an American female leader during the Big band era, and sister to June Hutton.

Hutton was born as Odessa Cowan in Chicago, Illinois. She and her parents were identified as "negro" or "mulatto" by census takers.[1] She began dancing and singing in stage revues at the age of eight. Cowan's mother Marvel Ray was a local pianist and entertainer in Chicago. She attended Hyde Park High School on the South Side of Chicago. In the 1930s she appeared on Broadway in George White's Scandals and The Ziegfeld Follies.

In 1934 she was asked by vaudeville agent Alex Hyde to lead an all-girl orchestra, the Melodears, which featured musicians including trumpet player Frances Klein, pianist Ruth Lowe Sandler, saxophonist Jane Cullum, guitarist Marian Gange, trumpeter Mardell "Owen" Winstead and trombonist Alyse Wells during its existence.[2][3] Hutton and her Melodears were one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts including Accent on Girls and Swing Hutton Swing and Hollywood feature films under the management of national booking agent Irving Mills.[2] The group disbanded in 1939. In 1940 she led an all-male orchestra that was featured in the film Even Since Venus (1944); it was disbanded in 1946. During the 1950s, she returned to the all-girl format for variety television programs including the Ina Ray Hutton Show for a local station on the West Coast. She married and divorced Lou Parris, Randy Brooks and Michael Anter. Her fourth husband, Jack Curtis, preceded her in death.

She retired from music in 1968 and died in 1984 of complications from diabetes, aged 67.


  1. Ina Ray Hutton at Retrieved on November 18, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 McGee, Kristin (2009), Some Liked it Hot: Jazz Women in Film and Television 1928-1959, Wesleyan University Press
  3. Frances Klein Papers, 1929-2002. Duke University Jazz Archive.

External links

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