Tuesday, March 1, 2016

106 Women Musicians Honored at Tribute to the Pioneer Women Musicians March 8, 1986

Ada Leonard and Peggy Gilbert interviewed by Ruthie Buell of KPFK

This is the list of women musicians honored that day:
Jeanne E. Aiken, violinist, players’ representative of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 
Luruth Anderson, violin, assistant conductor, Los Angeles Women’s Symphony 
Anita Aros (Tuttle), violin, with The Spade Cooley Show 
Micki “O” Bailey, played with Sweethearts of Rhythm and with Helen Gissin 
Deedie (Glee) Ball, piano, played with Ina Ray Hutton’s band, toured with Hormel Show; also bandleader 
Sally Banning (Porter), bandleader, organ, and saxophone 
Audrey Barnett, guitar, producer, played with Ada Leonard, Peggy Gilbert, and George Liberace 
Dixie Blackstone (Eger), piano, vocalist, and entertainer 
Margaret H. Brady, violin, Long Beach Women’s Symphony, conductor 
Radie Britain, composer of symphonic music
Clora Bryant, jazz trumpet, with Prairie View’s All Girl Band, with the Sweethearts of Rhythm, among other bands 
Evelyn “Evie” Campbell, saxophone, played with Ada Leonard and Ina Ray Hutton 
Stella Castelucci, harp, symphonic and studio musician
Geneva Merle Chappele (Guerrero), drums 
Mildred Portney Chase, pianist and writer, performed on the Evening on the Roof concerts 
Maria Coker (Dickerson), bass, played USO tours 
Lorenza Jordan Cole, pianist and educator 
Joyce Collins, piano, bandleader; one of the first women to serve on the Board of Local 47, AF of M 
Dorothy Compinsky, violin, Los Angeles Women’s Symphony, Brodetsky Ensemble, and The Compinsky Trio 
Zackie Walters Cooper, saxophone 
Katherine (Katy) Cruise, saxophone, clarinet, played with Boots and Her Buddies, Nellie Jay and Her Jay Birds, and Peggy Gilbert 
Mary Demond, trumpet, played with Ada Leonard 
Rose Diamond, piano, President of Women’s Club of Musicians Union 
Karen Donley, bass, played with Peggy Gillbert’s band and the Dixie Belles, also Ina Ray Hutton 
Marion Downs, singer of spirituals and promoter of Black American music 
Eunice Johnson Duroe, trombone, played with Ada Leonard’s band 
Marie Ford (O’Sullivan), violin, appeared in The Great Waltz, with Peggy Gilbert’s band 
Peggy Gilbert, saxophone, bandleader, vocalist, arranger, clarinet, vibes, violin
Kellie Greene, piano, French horn, flute and arranger, and her own band 
Virginia Gregg, bass, with the Singing Strings on radio, actress 
Helen Gissin, drummer, vocalist, bandleader 
Audrey Hall (Petroff), saxophone, clarinet and violin, with Peggy Gilbert’s band
 Estelle Dilthey Hambaugh, drummer with Babe Eagan and Her Hollywood Redheads
 Helen Lorraine Hammond, trumpet, worked with Ada Leonard’s band
 Chris Hollis, pianist and vocalist, played with Louis Jordan and with  Helen Gissin’s band
June Robin Howard, violin
 Luella Howard, flute
 Genevieve B. Howell, piano, played with Peggy Gilbert’s band
 Wen-Ying Hsu, composer of symphonic music
Davida Jackson, organ, studio work
Fern Spaulding Jaros, trombone and French horn, played with Babe Egan and the Hollywood Redheads and in symphonies
Dody Jeshke, drums 
Feather Johnson, bass and reeds, played with Peggy Gilbert, Freddie Schaeffer and Joy Caylor
Alberta Jones, cello, played with Los Angeles Women’s Philharmonic
Francis Kass, trumpet, played with Ada Leonard
Sally Brown (Flint) Kempster, trumpet, played with Peggy Gilbert’s bands and Boots and Her Buddies
Ruth Kirkpatrick, violin, Long Beach’s Women’s Symphony concert master, symphonies
Ann Leaf, theater organist and studio musician
Ada Leonard, bandleader and vocalist
Thelma L. Lewis, played with Sweethearts of Rhythm
Bernice Lobdell, trumpet, played with Ada Leonard, Ina Ray Hutton’s band, Count Bernivici and Rita Rio
Nellie Lutcher, piano, vocalist, songwriter, and bandleader
Barbara Neece MacNair, piano, with Ada Leonard
Elva Dilthey MacNair, saxophone and violin, played with Babe Eagan and the Hollywood Redheads
Lois Cronen Magee, trombone and vibraharp, played with Ina Ray Hutton and with Ada Leonard
Virginia Majewski, viola, played with the American Quartet
Marilyn Mayland, bass, with Los Angeles Women’s Philharmonic and her own group
Mildred Myers, played with Phil Spitalny’s All-Girls Orchestra
Bridget O’Flynn, drums
Alice Oakason (Dexter) drums, played with Fanchon and Marco and Peggy Gilbert’s band, studio musician
Rose Parenti, piano, played with Fanchon and Marco
June Smith Parra, cello, studio musician and teacher
Harriet Payne, viola, composer, conductor, played with Glendale Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, studio musician
Evelyn Pennak, saxophone, toured Europe with American Legion Band, played with Ada Leonard
Pearl Powers, bass, with Peggy Gilbert and the Dixie Belles, played with The Wild Ones and Four Guys and the Doll
Naomi “Pee Wee” Preble, trombone, with Peggy Gilbert’s band
Doris E. Pressler, trumpet with Bobby Grice and The Bricktops, Peggy Gilbert’s band
Eunice Wennermark Price, violin, studio musician
Bessie Van Wagner Quinzel, clarinet, Long Beach Women’s Symphony and band leader
Dorothy Ray, accordion, saxophone and producer
Charlotte (Robin) Reed, trumpet, with Count Bernivici’s band and Thelma White
Naomi Reynolds, piano, organ and radio broadcaster
Lois Robbins, trombone and bass, with Count Bernivici’s band
Natalie Robin, clarinet, oboe, and saxophone, with Peggy Gilbert and the Dixie Belles, played with Rita Rio and Ina Ray Hutton
Betty “Roz” Rosner, saxophone, clarinet, played with Sweethearts of Rhythm and Ada Leonard
Frances Rossiter, trumpet
Florence Russell, publisher of Pacific Coast Musician
Jane Sager, trumpet, played with Ona Munson, Peggy Gilbert, Ada Leonard, and Ina Ray Hutton
Eudice Shapiro, violin with the American Quartet, USC faculty and performed on the Evening on the Roof concerts
Mary Crawford Shattuck, violin, in Los Angeles Women’s Symphony concertmistress, played with International Strings
Georgia Cotner Shilling, piano, with Peggy Gilbert and the Dixie Belles
E. Ginger Smock Shipp, violin, with Spade Cooley television show and studio musician
Constance Shirley, composer
Ethel (Jenkins) Siegfried, bass, in Los Angeles Women’s Symphony
Lucille B. Silverstone, piano, played at the Brown Derby Restaurant
Barbara Simons, violin and viola, symphony player
Mildred Springer, bass, played with Ada Leonard
Geraldine Stanley
Verna Arvey Still, piano, lyricist and writer
Ann Mason Stockton, harp, studio musician
Florence L. Strnad, bassoon, Los Angeles Women’s Symphony
Pat Stullken, saxophone, played with Sweethearts of Rhythm
Norma Teagarden (Friedlander), piano
Jerrie Thill, drummer, vocalist, with Peggy Gilbert and the Dixie Belles and Ada Leonard.
Bee Turpin (Butler) piano, played with Victory Belles and Peggy Gilbert
Elisabeth Waldo, violin and composer
Elinor Remick Warren, composer
Gayle Warren, piano
Marian “Marnie” Wells, trumpet, bass with Peggy Gilbert and the Dixie Belles, Ina Ray Hutton, Rita Rio and Count Bernivici
Wilma Wescott, tuba and entertainer
June (Derry) Weston, played USO show with Thelma White
Olive Williams, clarinet, with Los Angeles Women’s Symphony
Violet Wilson, bass, with Terry McLaughlin and Sarah Vaughn
Judy Winsor, piano, played at Brown Derby Restaurant

These women were in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s when they were honored in 1986. How precious to have them together at the Ambassador Hotel that International Women's Day!


30 Years Since Tribute to the Pioneer Women Musicians of Los Angeles


 Annie Patterson's Maiden Voyage
 at the Ambassador Hotel, March 8, 1986

Left to right: Ada Leonard, Marilyn Mayland, and Clora Bryant
On March 8, 2016 we will celebrate 30 years since the monumental event called the Tribute to the Pioneer Women Musicians of Los Angeles. Sometimes in our lives we know just what is the right thing to do!  This event was one of those things! 

I produced this luncheon and concert at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was a project of the International Institute for the Study of Women in Music at California State University, Northridge, co-directed with Beverly Grigsby.  The idea of the luncheon developed out of a research project funded by the California Council for the Humanities entitled, "The Story of the All-Women Orchestras of California," which documented the history of all-female ensembles in the state. In conversations with Peggy Gilbert, it became clear that there should be a reunion of women musicians. Peggy provided names of many of the jazz musicians to be honored at the event.  The program honored 106 women musicians active in Los Angeles in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.  It featured performances of Peggy Gilbert and The Dixie Belles, as well as Ann Patterson's Maiden Voyage, a seventeen-piece big jazz band.  The event was the subject of an eleven-minute feature on the McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, heard coast-to-coast on PBS, and in Los Angeles on KCET. The event was also covered on Cable News Network (CNN). In addition, there was coverage by veteran TV journalist Ruth Ashton Taylor at KCBS.  The event was broadcast live on KPFK Radio in Los Angeles, hosted by broadcasters Fred Hyatt and Ruthie Buell. Music broadcaster and guitarist John Schneider was the event's emcee.

In the next blog, I will post the list of all the women who were honored that day.