Thursday, January 27, 2011

Band Members Identified in Ina Ray Hutton's Band

There are many recent books, articles, documentaries, and websites that intend to document the history of women in jazz. However, most often when they include a picture of an all-girl band, only the bandleader is identified. Why is that? Shouldn't we make the effort to give credit to the individual women musicians who played in those bands, some who had careers lasting four or more decades?

 For the record, this is Ina Ray Hutton's band in Los Angeles, probably from the early 1950s (perhaps when they were on KTLA), and (I believe) the band members are, from left to right: DeeDee (Glee) Ball (piano), Ina Ray Hutton (singer and bandleader) , Karen Donley (bass), Norma Peterson, Toby Gorlick, Naomi "PeeWee" Preble (trombone), Marcella Anderson, Dody Jeshke (drums), Helen Kay (trumpet, later Helen Kaplan), Audrey Hall Petroff (saxophone), Jane Sager (trumpet), Joanne Wooley (trumpet) and Evelyn Madson (saxophone).  Ina Ray Hutton was born in 1914 and died in 1984.  If you have additional information about this photograph, I'd love to hear about it.


  1. I just found your blog when searching for my grandmother Audrey Hall Petroff. That is in fact her in the photo above. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Jeannie,

      If you have any more info to share on Ina or The Melodears, I'd love to speak with you. I'm writing a show about Ina's life. Check it out at:

      Patti, I'd love to speak with you about your grandmother.

      Thank you!

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  3. First of all it was Evelyn "Nadson" with an N. Second of all, she's not in that picture. I know this because I'm her husband and fairly familiar with her appearance.

    1. Hi Evfan,

      I'd love to chat with you or your wife about working with Ms. Hutton. I'm working on a project about female musicians from this time period.

      Thank you,