|Ina Ray Hutton
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 would
dance while she conducted her band. Her 'All Female Band' lasted
from 1934-1939 (again in 1950) and in 1940 started an all male
band with her at the helm.
She retired from music in 1968 and died
in 1984 in Ventura, California of complications from diabetes.