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Here’s our coverage of the unprecedented 2020 U.S. election. The group is the only non-white all-girl group to be filmed during the 1940s, appearing in both Soundies and the feature-length independent film That Man of Mine (1946 Alexander Productions) directed by Leonard Anderson and produced by William Alexander (McGee, Tucker, Handy, Grove Music Online). The group was the first all-girl group invited to tour USO military camps in 1941. 1” (Chopin). But just like Dolezal, they spent at least part of their lives pretending to be something they weren’t, historians now suspect. Did the Grays decide they could make do without an extra player? Egan retired from professional life in the 1940s. At the age of 16, Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club in 1933 and featured in the Cotton Club Parade in 1934. Get the latest news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois. She toured with other all-girl bands during the 1940s including the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and the Black Queens of Swing. She also featured in all-black cast musical films Cabin in the Sky (1943) and Stormy Weather (Twentieth Century Fox 1943). She also appeared on television programs including the Ed Sullivan Show. a new band comprised of only male band members. She soon returned to performing and recording with her husband, guitarist Dave Barbour. Leonard led an all-girl band for her television program on KTTV from 1952 to 1954 (Tucker, McGee). She also toured Europe with Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds revue, where she began to attract attention in London and Paris. She died of pneumonia in 2005 (McGee). Born in Alabama to former slaves, Oscar DePriest is remembered by history as the first African-American to be elected to Congress from a Northern state. Besides her Big Band career and her own television show, Ina appeared in several films: The Big Broadcast of 1936 and Ever Since Venus (1944). But with most votes counted, Stephens reported a big lead. to learn music but eventually she felt confident enough to conduct the band as a real bandleader. Hardin died in 1971 while performing a memorial concert to Louis Armstrong (Dahl, Placksin, Wikipedia, Grove Music Online). White’s most famous role was for Tell Your Children (1936) better known today as Reefer Madness, a low-budget propaganda film about the dangers of marijuana. She was performing in Copenhagen in 1941 when she was arrested for drug charges and later returned to the United States. She also contracted female musicians for films and began to advocate for local women musicians. Louis Blues”. There she was in articles It took her years early 1930s she appeared in The. Her Relaxed Piano Moods (1955 Decca) featured Charles Mingus on bass and Rudie Nichols on drums. She recorded a number of the 1940s top ranking popular hits including “Blues in the Night”, “I’ll Walk Along”, “I Hear Rhapsody” and “Yes, My Darling Daughter”. They progressed to tour nationally on the Keith-Orpheum vaudeville circuit for many years. She used Her parents were Marvel Svea (meaning "Swede") Williams and Odie Daniel Cowan. Her first film was A Night in a Dormitory (1930) co-starring Ginger Rogers. It’s part of the history that makes Dolezal’s masquerade so fascinating to many Americans: for centuries, African-Americans were far more likely to attempt to pass as white than the reverse. She died of a stroke in 1966 in Verdugo City, California (Poole). Hutton was born Odessa Cowan in Chicago, Illinois to Marvel Ray, a local pianist and leader of an all-girl band. A leading chronicler of black life, he had a mixed African and European heritage, but was known to resist attempts to pigeonhole him as a “black writer.” In 2010, though, Harvard professor — and pal of President Barack Obama — Henry Louis Gates went further, publishing research with Emory Professor Rudolph P Byrd, indicating that Toomer was “a Negro who decided to pass for white.” The New York Times reported: “…over the course of his life Toomer variously denied ever living as a black person; called himself racially mixed; and said he was a new kind of American, transcending old racial terms. all-girl band venture that she added the name Hutton, to take advantage, of the Know about breaking news as it happens. Many members later went on to perform with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and the Prairie View Coeds. Ina Ray Hutton was one of the most successful bandleaders of the Big Band era. But when he died in Chicago in 1937 at the age of 76 after slipping on an icy sidewalk, William Edward White’s Cook County death certificate declared him “white.” And when he played in his one and only big-league game for the National League’s Providence Grays (perhaps becoming the first black big leaguer ever) in 1879, his teammates and the fans watching likely all thought he was white, too, Peter Morris and Stefan Fatsis reported for Slate last year: “After first baseman “Old Reliable” Joe Start broke a finger, the Providence Grays, who played in the National League between 1878 and 1885, recruited White, an 18-year-old freshman at Brown University, to fill in. Upon hearing of her reputation, clarinetist Lawrence requested an audition for his New Orleans Creole Jazz Band. let alone a bandleader. clubs as "Marvel Ray." would indicate that they were part of the black community. She continued to play occasionally in nightclubs, while also appearing in daytime television. She began singing in the Lawton, Oklahoma Baptist church, but took up the trumpet after her brother and played in her high school marching band in Texas. She led various all-girl bands for several decades, most prominently during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Fletcher typed "Odessa Cowan" into the archive and up popped a list of Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard: “Everyone on his family tree was black and didn’t claim to be anything else. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Egan was a violinist and bandleader during the 1920s through the 1930s. There she was scouted by various film studios, including MGM. Late Tuesday it appeared that Toomin will stay and Kilbride will go. This 1943/44 Ina Ray Hutton outfit is a far cry from the earlier Melodears all-female outfit. A predominantly black jazz band led by arranger and instrumentalist Eddie Durham during the 1940s. She was the first African American woman to host her own television show, The Hazel Scott Show, which premiered on the DuMont Television Network in 1950. By the early 1930s, she was starring in Sissle/Black’s Rhapsody in Black. By the age of 15, Snow chose to concentrate upon the trumpet and singing and soon landed headlining roles in musical revues including Sissle and Blake’s In Bamville (aka The Chocolate Dandies) in 1924. She featured with Goodman’s band in two Hollywood films, Stage Door Canteen (1943) and the Powers Girl (1943). Soon trumpeter Louis Armstrong joined the band and the two married in 1924. During the 1930s and 1940s, Gilbert’s all-girl band performed in prominent Los Angeles nightclub such as the Cotton Club and the Cocoanut Grove. The show aired in California from 1951-1955. having a brief stint on national television in 1956. So I went looking for Ina Ray Hutton in the Chicago census records, and the answer was there…”. Ray to come work for them in a new venture they had in mind, an all-girl The latter included the excellent Truckin'. She was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, the seventh of eight children to parents of Swedish and Norwegian American ancestry. Hutton and her Melodears were one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts including Accent on Girls (Paramount 1936)and Swing Hutton Swing (Paramount 1937 and Hollywood feature films including The Big Broadcast of 1936 (Paramount 1935) under the management of national booking agent Irving Mills. She also led international tours and headlined European jazz festivals in the 1980s. By the 1960s, she had become more outspoken about civil rights and took part in the March on Washington in August 1963. Ina Ray Hutton Ina Ray Hutton was the band leader of the Melodears, one of the first all-female swing bands ever to be recorded and filmed. Lee extended her repertoire to pop to rock during the 1960s and 1970s working with artists as diverse as Buffy St. Marie, Randy Newman and Burt Bacharach. She toured with various bands during the 1930s and 1940s including Nobble Sissle’s and Charlie Barnet’s, a white band. She suffered a difficult childhood after the early death of her mother. She later studied at the Chicago Musical College and then the University of Southern California and became a protégé of Art Tatum. Perhaps, she speculated, White left the household because Hattie discovered his racial history. Ina Ray Hutton and her Melodears were an all-girl dance band that made their debut in the 1930s. A pioneering politician who has a West Side school named after him. These films helped promote the swing-based capabilities of female musicians while arousing interest in White’s boogie woogie/dance band aggregation. articles mentioning the starlet as a child. The band appeared in several film shorts including The Band Beautiful (Vitaphone 1928) and Syncopating Sweeties (Vitaphone 1928) and Maids and Music (Pictoreels 1937) (McGee). She returned to Chicago to perform various revues at the Dreamland and later worked with Louis Armstrong in King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. She went from being a $50 a week dancer, to making $3,500 a week with In 1950 and 1951, Leonard’s band was filmed for a number of Snader Telescriptions in Chicago. Hardin recorded several times with Armstrong’s hot five and hot seven units, including sessions for OKeh and Vocalian between 1925 and 1928. For a time, she played piano and led Sallie Martin’s gospel choir. During high school, Peggy picked up the saxophone because of her interest in big band and vaudeville style jazz. She is one of the few African American women to appear as an instrumental soloists in 1940s films; She appeared in Sensations of 1945 with Cab Calloway, Gene Rodgers and W. C. Fields. bandleader, meaning it was "all show.". The group performed locally in dance halls and for jazz festivals as well as for television programs including the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. As a young girl, she began imitating her favorite bands and vocalists as heard from national radio programs. She died of cancer in 1981 in New York City (Chilton, McGee, Wikipedia).

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