Ina Ray Hutton (Odessa Cowan)
BiographyChicago, Illinois, USA
Ina Ray Hutton, daughter of pianist Marvel Ray, sang and danced in stage revues from the age of 8, culminating in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934. In mid-1934, she organized an "all-girl" band, the Melodears, featuring hot swing music and Ina Ray's hot dancing in sexy gowns. Ina Ray starred with her band in several Paramount musical shorts, 1935-37, and appeared as herself in a few feature films, but her chief claim to film fame is the starring role in a Columbia musical, Ever Since Venus (1944) (1944). Read more... played through the forties. She was the only woman to lead a prominent Big Band in that era. From 1951-1956 her new all-female band had a show on regional TV, with a brief national network run in 1956. She retired from music in 1968; she was divorced from her fourth husband, businessman 'Jack Curtis' when she died at age 67 of complications from diabetes.