| Ina Ray Hutton
|| Odessa Cowan|
Half Sister to June Hutton. Her professional career began early, when at the age of eight, she appeared, as a young Tap dancer, with a revue produced by Gus Edwards. By 1934, she was appearing in several Broadway shows, including George White's "Melody" and the Ziegfeld Follies. It was also in 1934 that Ina Ray, with the help of Irving Mills, began organizing her Melodear orchestra.
Dubbed as the only prominent female bandleader during the Big Band era was Ina Ray Hutton and Her Orchestra and Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodear's. This "all-girl" novelty Swing orchestra, was led by a well-proportioned and undulating, young blonde who became known for her music and seductive on-Stage personality. Also an avid Jitterbug dancer, like Cab Calloway she would dance while she conducted her band. Her 'All Female Band' lasted from 1934-1939 ( And again in 1950) while in 1940 she started an all male band, again with her at the helm.
She retired from music in 1968 and died in 1984 in Ventura, California of complications from diabetes.