Jean Veloz-Icon of the Swing Dance Community

Jean Veloz vintage image
Source: Jean Veloz

In the Lindy Hop world Jean Veloz is a living Icon and so as we approach ‘World Lindy Hop Day‘ on May 26th, I think it’s a good time to share with my readers the story of Jean and her swing dancing success.

ABOUT JEAN:

As a teenager in the 1940’s Jean Phelps (her maiden name) and her brothers Bob and & Ray would invite friends over to their living-room and practice the popular dance of their generation, the Lindy Hop or also know as the Jitterbug (Video Link).

Jean and Ray got so good together that they decided to enter an area-wide Jitterbug contest in Santa Maria, winning out over a total of 500 dancers.

Jean Veloz 1940s Jitterbug
Source: Jean Veloz

The Phelps family moved to Los Angeles in 1942, which allowed Jean and her brothers the opportunity to dance at the LA hotspots. In 1943 Jean entered a contest at American Legion Stadium in Hollywood, where the prize was a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the movie Swing Fever starring Kay Kyser and Marilyn Maxwell. Jean won the contest, her SAG card, and the opportunity to dance with Lennie Smith and Don Gallager in the feature-length movie (Source).

(Video Link)

After the success of Swing Fever, Jean’s career took off and she went on to dance in several movies:

  • 20th Century Fox’s Swingin’ On a Tea Garden Gate starring Peter Lawford (Dance Partner: Chuck Saggau)
Chuck Saggau & Jean Veloz 1940s swing dance
Source: Rustyfrank
  • 1943’s MGM’s Jive Junction (Dance Partner: Bob Ashley) Video Link

  • The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) starring Jack Benny as the angel Gabriel (Dance Partner: Dean Collins)

But one of her most popular films for Lindy Hoppers around the world is the 1944 short film “Groovie Movie“, as it’s a great study of the early years of the Lindy Hop. Here is Jean, Arthur Walsh, Lenny Smith, Kay Vaughn, Irene Thomas and Chuck Saggau in this little gem (Video Link).

Outside of starring in movies Jean and her brother Ray entered many dance contests in the Hollywood and Los Angeles areas.

Jean Veloz and Ray Phelps

Here is a FANTASTIC short clip of Jean and Ray discussing how this famous image above came to be.

In 1946, Jean even danced in the chorus line at El Rancho Vegas Hotel, working with choreographer Nick Castle for six months (Source).

Postcard-El-Rancho-Vegas-Hotel-Casino-Restaurant-Las
Source: Ebay

Jean’s fate was about to take another positive turn when famous ballroom dancer Frank Veloz was in need of a partner, after his regular partner & wife Yolanda Veloz retired. Jean became Frank’s new dance partner, performing exhibition ballroom dancing and appearing in a two-week engagement at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

Jean Veloz and Frank Veloz
Source: Jean Veloz
Frank Veloz & Jean Phelps ballroom dancing vintage ad
Source: Jean Veloz

1950-The Frank Veloz Show airs and runs for 5 years. Jean and Frank did exhibitions of tango, waltz, rhumba, samba, swing and foxtrot, along with teaching these dances on live TV. They interviewed many well-known stars including Liberace, incorporating these appearances into the show (Source).

Jean+and+Frank+Veloz
Source: Jean Veloz

Jean and Frank eventually were married in 1963 (he had divorced his wife Yolanda in the 50’s) and they remained a happy dancing couple until his death in 1981 from Cancer. Jean stopped dancing until 1992.

Jean and Frank Veloz dancing couple vintage image
Source: Jean Veloz

The Revival of Jean’s Dancing Career:

In 1992 Jean was approached by a Rudy Linan a swing dancer from Vegas who was working on a swing documentary and encouraged Jean to start dancing again.

Jean Veloz
Source: Jean Veloz

After she put her dancing shoes back on, the Lindy Hop/Swing Dance world took notice and she was asked to participate in dance events from coast to coast, year after year.

1996, Jean Veloz was inducted into the prestigious California Swing Dance Hall of Fame as a Golden Star.

California Swing Dance Hall of Fame

Other notable events:

In 2000, all surviving members of Groovie Movie together as Jean, Irene Thomas and Chuck Saggau appeared together again for the first time since the 1940s, with Ray Phelps was along for good measure. In 2004, the group was together again to participate in activities surrounding the dedication of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Jean, Ray, Irene and Chuck performed along with Swing Dancers Tom and Debra at the Smithsonian Institution in front of hundreds of people.

Jean Veloz swing dancer
Source: Jean Veloz

2014 was a special year for Jean as she celebrated her 90th birthday and how does one do that in today’s world? They go viral! Yup videos of Jean dancing at various places for her 90th birthday surfaced and was seen by millions of people (yup millions). Jean’s name was now known to the world not just to the swing dance community. How exciting!

Here is one of those videos.

Showing no signs of slowing down Jean continues to dance and attend events all over the world. I will now leave you one with one last video taken last year as Jean celebrated her 92nd birthday (Video Link).

 

I hope you enjoyed learning all about the amazing and wonderful Jean Veloz, she is truly inspiring to dancers everywhere and I hope to one day to grow-up to be just like her.

Liz

My Favorite Vintage Pins on Pinterest-Spring Edition

It’s been awhile since I have done my “Favorite Pins on Pinterest” post, but that just means that I have so many new editions of fun images, advertisements, clothes and whatever else that has caught my eye to showcase. Lets take a look!

 Vintage Advertising Board:

Yummy Seven-Up! This ad is colourful and fun and truly ridiculous enough to make me actually want to buy a bottle.

1950's vintage Sevenup ad
Source: Pinterest

I’m a sucker for a good Canadian Advertisement and this one is awesome! While I did not receive Canada Savings bonds in the 50’s (more the 80’s) they were an item that was a popular gift to kids from loving family members (or whomever). Sadly this year the government has decided to discontinue the program but we will always have the ads.

1955 Canada Savings Bond vintage ad
Source: Pinterest

“Help your winter ration coupons go further”. 1940’s Wartime Hints from B.C. (British Columbia) Electric. Another great look into Canadian history.

Canadian WWII wartime hints for rationing and perserving vintage BC Electric Ad
Source: Pinterest

Awesome Vintage Pictures Board:

1945’s University of Chicago archery class (or group).

1945's University of Chicago University of Chicago archery. Photographic Archive, [apf digital item number, apf4-00005], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
Source: Pinterest
1950’s Hawaiian party at the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago Archives-Hawaiian Shirts 1950's
Source: Pinterest

When I found this image I truly felt like this woman was me, if Liz was around in the 1950’s. Kitschy fun to the max!

1950s vintage image of flamingo orange and a woman
Source: Pinterest

As a swing dancer, I’m a sucker for a good circle skirt that spins out just at the right time. This 1950’s cheerleader has accomplished this task (and high fives to the photographer for capturing the moment).

Vintage Photo..Twirly Skirt 1950's Original Found Photo
Source: Pinterest

Stunning 1951 vacation image of a woman near the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Looks like it belongs in a magazine (and maybe it was at one point).

1951 Vintage Italy Image of Leaning Tower of Pisa vintage image
Source: Pinterest

Vintage Mish Mash of Things I Love Board:

I stumbled upon a fantastic article that was appeared in my Pinterest feed on ‘Margaine-Lacroix and the dresses that shocked Paris‘. It was such an interesting read about a designer who achieved so much for fashion but has never received the recognition she deserved.

Margaine-Lacroix and the dresses that shocked Paris
Source: Pinterest

I’m a Lindy Hopper (the dance of the 1930’s & 40’s) and so I’m always drawn to amazing images and art that reflects that time period. This poster was taken from a famous 1943 Life Magazine image, seen HERE.

vintage lindy hop image
Source: Pinterest

Are you in the market for a one of kind 1950’s Paris themed tie? Well if you are then you are in luck as it’s currently for sale on Etsy and it’s fantastic (as of May 19th, 2017)!

1950s vintage tie with paris theme
Source: Pinterest

My Vintage Style: This board is dedicated to my dream closet.

1940’s Evening Gown.

40s Evening Gown with Brass Studded Floral Design Vintage Womens
Source: Pinterest

Vintage 1930s Dress – Rare Curve Hugging Late 1930s Peggy Hunt Jean Carol Label Evening Gown with Ruffled Accents

Vintage 1930s Dress - Rare Curve Hugging Late 1930s Peggy Hunt Jean Carol Label Evening Gown with Ruffled Accents
Source: Pinterest

1947 Vintage Evening Gown with an image of the owner wearing it! These are always amazing finds.

1940s vintage evening gown with vintage image of owner
Source: Pinterest

 

That is all the pins for today! I hope friends you enjoyed browsing some of my favorite Pinterest Pins from the last month. I always have a fun time on this website and I love when I can share my finds with all of you.

Have a good weekend!

Liz

Prom in the 1940s and 1950s

prom-in-the1940s-50s

(Originally a 2014 Vintage inn post)

I love prom theme parties, they are so fun and allow me to get my hair and dress right (as opposed to oh so wrong when I was a teen in the 90s lol). I’m very lucky that in Toronto there are lots of themed parties to attend, with many of them having a 50s theme.

For my blog today I wanted to give an overview of the history of prom, check out some images from the 1940s and 50s of proms (and formal dances) and whatever other fun things I can find.

Lets begin shall we?!

History

1950s Highschool Prom

While high school yearbooks did not start covering proms and including prom pictures until the 1930s and 1940s, historians, including Meghan Bretz, believe proms may have existed at colleges as early as the late 1800s. The journal of a male student at Amherst College in 1894 recounts an invitation and trip to an early prom at neighboring Smith College for women. The word prom at that time may just have been a fancy description for an ordinary junior or senior class dance, but prom soon took on larger-than-life meaning for high school students.

Proms worked their way down incrementally from college gatherings to high school extravaganzas. In the early 1900s, prom was a simple tea dance where high school seniors wore their Sunday best. In the 1920s and 1930s, prom expanded into an annual class banquet where students wore party clothes and danced afterward. As Americans gained more money and leisure time in the 1950s, proms became more extravagant and elaborate, bearing similarity to today’s proms. The high school gym may have been an acceptable setting for sophomore dances (soph hop), but junior prom and senior balls gradually moved to hotel ballrooms and country clubs. Competition blossomed, as teens strove to have the best dress, the best mode of transportation, and the best looking date. Competition for the prom court also intensified, as the designation of “prom queen” became an important distinction of popularity. In a way, prom became the pinnacle event of a high school student’s life, the ultimate dress rehearsal for a wedding.

Today, prom continues to be a notable event in the social climate of high schools. Popular movies and novels attest to the importance of prom themes, prom dates, and prom queens. In some areas, the traditions of prom are not as rigid as they used to be, with some areas allowing individuals or groups to attend instead of couples. These days limousine becomes compulsory for the prom event (Source: Wikipedia).

1940s vintage dance image, young couple
1940s Couple. Source: Flickr-Duke University Archives

 

Prom Clothes

Of course a big deal for prom is the clothes, I think more for the ladies then the men. I mean the men during the 40s and 50s did not have much to choose from, Suit or Tuxedo. BUT for the ladies ohhhh the possibilities were endless!

1940s Formal Vintage Gowns Ad
Source: Flickr-Classic Film

The Queens of Vintage Website gives a wonderful breakdown of the style of dresses that were popular during the 1930’s thru to the 1950s.

1930s
Proms were starting to gain popularity with the middle classes, who adopted them as their version of the wealthy colleges’ debutante balls. Sleek, floor-length, demure dresses in light colours echoed the debutante style.

1930s Prom dress worn by a young woman
Source: Etsy-NiepceGallery

I love the wonderful sheer overlay of the below gowns. AND did you notice the dance card the one girl is holding in the image? Fantastic!

1930s vintage gown dress pattern image
Source: Pinterest

1940s 
As the prom started featuring more in the High School yearbook, the debutante-influenced full skirt was still popular but more feminine. Structured lines were evolving around the upper body to emphasise the hourglass figure that so epitomized the decade’s style.

1949 Prom or Formal Dance
Source-Flickr: Proctor Archives

The first dress is my favorite as it appears to be velvet on the top and I just love the beautiful (very large) corsage she is sporting. Farewell Seniors!

1940s Prom gowns
Source: Getty Images

1950s
Bring on the taffeta: this is the decade that gave us the quintessential prom dress. Tiny waists and skirts so full they could stand-up on their own.

1950s Prom
Source: Pinterest

The Seersucker dress on the right looks similar in style (on the bottom) to a 1940s dress I recently purchased.

1950s Prom
Source: Weston History

 

Now of course no prom can be without the King and Queen of Prom and their Court.

1950s Prom Court
Source: Weston History

What an interesting crown the Queen is wearing.

1950s Prom Court
Source: Flickr-Jeff Miller

Long Live the Queen!

I want every single dress in this image…everyone. Wrap it up please vintage dress gods.

1940s Prom Queen and prom dresses

 

And now here are some more wonderful real life photos of young ladies and men enjoying their prom.

1940s prom couple
1940s Prom. Source: Pattern Patter

Lovely young woman getting a picture taken before her prom in the early 1950s. Her bouquet is simply stunning.

1950s young women going to prom
Source: Mezev.info

What a cute couple.

1953 Prom Couple
Source: Pinterest

Adorable couples alert! Especially the two on the right.

1950s couples going to prom
Source: Pinterest

1959 Prom. I think the girl to the left is from the prom court (too small of a crown for queen).

1950s Prom
Source: Rose Tinted Vintage

Sayonara is right, Prom does signify the end of high-school for every single person who attends.

1959 prom couple
Source: Flickr User Northridge Alumni Bear Facts

AND…Here is a super fun video from the 1940s about the “Do’s and Don’ts at Prom”. ENJOY!

 

Dear Readers: Did you attend your prom? Or attend a vintage/retro prom like I’m going to? How was it if you did go?

 

Liz 🙂

Mother’s Day Vintage Advertising

This Sunday it’s Mother’s Day, so Happy Mothers Day to my mom and to everyone else who celebrates as well!!

scottie dog vintage mothers day card
Source: Pinterest

Today’s post features vintage ads that were created to promote this special day, or should I say help promote their products. Either way, there is some great advertising out there that I just had to share with all of you. Lets Begin!

——

1928 – Say it with Flowers. I love the use of the red as the only colour in the ad.

1928 Mother's Day theme Say It With Flowers florist vintage print ad
Source: Ebay

1947 Whitman’s Sampler Chocolate Ad.

1947 Whitman's Sampler Chocolate Candy Mother's Day Advertisement
Source: Etsy

Another great 1951 Whitman’s Chocolates ad.

1951 Whitman’s Candy Sampler Mother’s Day Original Vintage Advertisement
Source: Etsy

Nothing says Mother’s Day like buying your mom..underwear? A 1941 Kickernick Advertisement.

Original 1941 Kickernick Ad, Matted Ad for Mother's Day, underwear ad
Source: Etsy

One more, “Buy her Lingerie” for Mother’s Day ad (1948).

1948 Vintage Blue Swan Undies Slips Gowns for Mother's Day Ad
Source: Ebay

1947 Jewelite by Prophylactic, Brushes and Combs (so pretty I want these for myself).

1947 Jewelite by Prophylactic Brushes and Combs Mothers Day Advertisement
Source: Etsy

Send a Western Union Telegram to your mom, don’t forget (1947 Ad).

1947 Western Union Telegram Mother's Day Advertisement
Source: Etsy

Ohhhh scented Telegrams, how fun!

1950s vintage AD WESTERN UNION , Scented Telegrams for Mother's Day
Source: Ebay

Pyrex is a great gift for the bride or for your mother (1941).

1941 vintage Kitchenware AD PYREX
Source: Ebay

A beautiful Speidel Ming Tai Watch Bracelet (1950).

vintage SPEIDEL Ming Tai Watch Bracelet MOTHERS DAY GIFT Jewelry Orchid Pkg AD
Source: Ebay

Nothing says I love you mom, like giving her a Hotpot Coffee Maker (1935) oh and an Iron….

1935 General Electric HOTPOINT Glass Coffee Maker POT Mother's Day GIFT Ad
Source: Ebay

 

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day to everyone that celebrates! I hope you don’t get an iron!

Further Reading- Here are some past Vintage Image posts:

Liz

Vintage Photo Tuesday: School Clubs

Hello Friends! I’m back from London and Paris, and because I have been gone for a week and some we are going to jump right into today’s ‘Vintage Photo Tuesday‘ without further delay.

Today’s VPT is all about School Club’s.

School Bank Club Member, celluloid pinback, 1940's

1928 Cinema Club at the University School of Nashville (The Most Famous Club in the Universities History).

1928 photograph of the cinema club, excerpted from the 1928 Volunteer
PDS/USN, “1928 Cinema Club,” University School of Nashville Archives, accessed May 9, 2017, https://usnarchives.omeka.net/items/show/268.

The Hoofers Ski Club of the University of Wisconsin (1940’s-1949)

1940's hoofers ski club university of wisconsin
Source: UWDC

Members of the Fashion Club at University of Wisconsin get ready before a show (1950-1959)

Members of the Fashion Club at University of Wisconsin get ready before before a show (1950-1959)
Source: UWDC

Group shot of the Phoenix Club with a basketball (1930s-1940’s). What is the connection between basketball, the Phoenix and their slogan?

1940's university of wisconsin womens basketball club
Source: UWDC

This student group from the University of Chicago is unidentified on their website, but I’m going to assume that is probably the Book Club.

University of Chicago Student Group vintage image 1940s 1950s
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf digital item number, apf4-03524], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
When the Debate Club gets together they always bring their trophy’s to keep their “Eye on the Prize”. The University of Chicago Debate Club, 1950’s.

University of chicago debate group 1950s
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf digital item number, apf4-01315], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
1950’s Camera Club at the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago Photography group 1950s vintage image
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf digital item number,apf4-01697], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
University of Toronto’s Medical Glee Club-1948.

University of Toronto Medical Glee Club, 1948.
Source: Heritage University of Toronto

University of Nashville-1930’s French Club.

University of Nashville 1930s French Club vintage image
University School of Nashville Archives, accessed May 9, 2017, https://usnarchives.omeka.net/items/show/146.

1954 Record Club at the University of Nashville.

1954 Record Club at the University of Nashville vintage image
University School of Nashville Archives, accessed May 9, 2017, https://usnarchives.omeka.net/items/show/422.

Household Arts Club 1950’s, University of Nashville. Don’t they all look like they are having fun?!

University of Nashville Photograph of four female students in action during a home economics class 1950s
PDS/USN, “Household Arts Club,” University School of Nashville Archives, accessed May 9, 2017, https://usnarchives.omeka.net/items/show/330.

 

That is it for this post friends, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Vintage Photo Tuesday. The next installment will be all about ‘Student Life’.

Have a great day!

Liz

Vintage Travel Advertising for Ontario-Canada’s Vacation Province!

Ontario-Canada-Vacation-Province-1950s
Source: I Desire vintage Posters

Today’s post is going to showcase Vintage Travel Posters of Ontario in the 1920’s-1960’s. Ontario is where my home of Toronto is located (and TO is the capital of Ontario) and it also is home to my childhood home of Sarnia. So Ontario is very special to me and since it’s Canada’s 150th birthday I want to show-off the vintage side of my beloved province.

Lets Begin!

In 1924 a Tourist and Publicity Bureau was set up to promote Ontario’s attractions, especially those associated with nature and the outdoors.

To encourage tourism, the Bureau published an annual guide to “point out some of the advantages of the Province of Ontario as a tourist centre in summer and winter”(Source).

1926 Ontario Travel Guide- “The Lake-Land Playground“.

1926 Ontario Travel Guide Booklet
Source: Archives of Ontario Library Collection

Ontario Canada Resorts 1920s vintage poster

Archives of Ontario State:

By the 1930s, three out of every four Americans visiting Canada chose Ontario for their vacation. The government’s tourism marketing strategy through the forties and fifties was to target Americans who wanted an outdoor vacation. This advertising was directed at families who desired to holiday on one of the many lakes, as well as at individuals who wanted to hunt and fish in Ontario’s forests and streams.

Publications and photographs promoting Ontario as “the Lakeland Playground of America” were forwarded to travel editors and inserted in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States (Source).

1930's Ontario travel pamphlet vintage
1930’s. Source: Archives of Ontario Library Collection
ontario vintage travel poster two women on a dock
Source: Made Man
Ontario vintage travel poster Ontario's Lakelands
Source: Pinterest
Ontario 1950s travel poster vintage
Source: Pinterest
vintage skiing in Ontario Canada Travel Brochure
Source; Pinterest
1950's ontario vintage advertising
Source: Etsy
1953 Ontario Canada collectible vintage magazine ad
Source: Etsy

1950's vintage Ontario vacation poster

1950s Vintage Ontario Travel Brochure
Source: PicClick

Inside of above brochure

1950s Vintage Ontario Travel Brochure
Source: PicClick
vintage Ontario Travel Brochure
Source: Flickr

 

And that friends was your virtual visit to Ontario. Hope you enjoyed your trip!

On an end note, there will be no blog post next week as I will be in London, UK and Paris, France celebrating my husband and I’s 5th wedding anniversary and my Big 4-0 birthday. If you want to see my adventures while I’m there please follow me on Instagram.

Liz

The Blonde Bombshell of Rhythm-Ina Ray Hutton

She had rhythm, she had style and she was the leader of the first all-female swing band to be recorded and filmed during the 1930’s. World meet Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears!

Ina Ray Hutton

Ina ray hutton and her melodears 1930s

First up a little bit of information on Ina’s early years:

  • Hutton was actually born Odessa Cowan in 1916
  • She grew up with her half-sister June (also a successful singer) in a black neighbourhood on Chicago’s south side.
  • When Hutton was a child, United States Census records called her and her family “negro,” and “mulatto,” when the Bureau used that term.She would “pass” as white for the rest of her career
  • Her mother, Marvel Ray was a local pianist and entertainer in Chicago
  • Iva would go on to study dance with Hazel Thompson-Davis and received a rave revue in the Chicago Defender when she was only 7
  • In 1930, at age 14, she made her Broadway debut with Gus Edwards at the Palace Theater in New York.  As Ina Ray, at age 16, she was a featured singer and dancer in George White’s “Melody;” at 17, she joined the Ziegfeld Follies (Source).
1930s Ina+Ray+Hutton
Source: Alchetron

The Melodears…

In 1934 at the age of 18 she was approached by Irving Mills to lead an all-girl orchestra called the Melodears. At the same time she was also encouraged to change her last name to Hutton, to take advantage of the notorious reputation of the Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton (Source).

Ina Ray Hutton

THE BAND IS A HIT! and would go on to tour solidly for five years and became one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts. Those shorts were:

  • Feminine Rhythm (1935)
  • Accent on Girls (1936)
  • Swing, Hutton, Swing (1937).

(Link to Accent on Girls Video) & (Link to Swing Hutton Swing Video)


The Glamour

The band and Ina’s style never made them wallflowers. The Melodears’ outfits ranged from boyish trousers to long, ultra-feminine, sequined outfits. Downbeat magazine reported that Hutton’s stage wardrobe included 400 gowns (Impressive!).

Ina Ray Hutton

Ina Ray Hutton

Ina Ray Hutton

The end of the Melodears but not the end of Hutton’s career

1939 saw Ina disband the Melodears, due to being tired of being seen as a ‘Novelty Act’ and also being tired of “all the glamour”. She formed an all-male band in 1940 and dyed her hair brunette to really emphasis the “done with glamour” part (that will do it! Ha Ha). This new band would perform together till 1949 and would even appear in the 1944 movie ‘Ever Since Venus‘.

Ina Ray Hutton as a brunette

The ‘Ina Ray Hutton TV Show’

From 1951 to 1956, Ina had her own TV show that saw the return of her All-Girl Orchestra (yay!) and the return to being blonde as well.

Ina Ray Hutton 1950s with band for tv show
Ina and some of the band. Source: Ebay

Here is Ina on her show with her singer sister (who had a good career herself), June Hutton (Link to video).

The Music

Hutton’s last recorded performance came in the 1975 film ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’.

Throughout her career Ina did not cut very many records, but she did have a lot of radio play, which has allowed future generations to be able to enjoy her talent. Below is a sampling of her songs and a link to where you can buy her collection of music.

Ina Ray Hutton collection of music 1930s to 1940s

  • What’s the Good of Moonlight
  • Truckin’
  • Georgia’s Gorgeous Gal
  • Witch Doctor
  • How’s About Tomorrow Night
  • Tess’ Torch Song
  • PLUS MANY MANY MORE! Buy/listen to her collection HERE

Her Personal Life

She married and divorced Lou Parisotto, Randy Brooks and Michael Anter (seen below in their 1958 wedding photo).

Ina Ray Hutton marriage photo 1950s
Source: Ebay

Her fourth husband, Jack Curtis, preceded her in death. Ina died in 1984 at the age of 67 from complications from diabetes.

Her Legacy

While Ina’s story may not be as well-known to the world (I’m helping to fix that!), you cannot deny that she paved the way for a wave of female bands who took off in the 40s, as well as being a pioneer in fashion and television. She was a true talent and an amazing light in the world of music and was truly “The Blonde Bombshell of Rhythm”.

Lastly, there is a very popular family band in Sweden called the Carling Family band. The lead singer (Gunhild Carling) very much reminds me of Ina. In fact I would not be surprised if she is one of her influences.

Here is the Carling Family band at Frankie 100 with a performance they did in Central Park (I was there for this and it was AMAZING!!! Don’t miss a single moment). (Link to Video)

 

What did you think of Ina friends? Wasn’t she just remarkable? I will be adding her to my collection of swing music greats, that is for sure.

Liz

 

The Vintage Easter Roundup

Easter is this weekend (mmmm chocolate) so for today’s post I wanted to do a roundup of all things that fall under the category, “Vintage Easter”. This will include photos,ads, kitschy vintage Easter items for sale and anything else I can find. Of course it’s all from the 1920’s to the 1960’s because as you know, I just love those time periods.

Let the Easter Fun Begin!

Doris Day 1950s Easter Image

What used to be an annual tradition in Toronto was the Easter Parade. Here is an image from 1924 of stylish Torontonians walking past the Sunnyside Pavilion. Even all bundled up the women still look incredibly elegant.

1920's easter parade toronto

Easter chocolates and candy are not just for little kids (1950’s).

1950s vintage easter image
Source: Ebay

It’s important at any age to don your best dress for the Easter festivities. Aren’t these 2 girls just adorable?

1960s two little girls in their easter dresses vintage photo
Source: Tumblr

Bunnies as presents (only a good idea if approved first), circa 1930’s.

1930s vintage photo of boys at easter with real bunnies
Source: Etsy

You know you have been a good girl when you get to pick something up for Easter BEFORE Easter (1950’s). On a side note, I believe I own a similar purse that the lady looking at the camera is holding.

1950s bakery selling easter goods vintage image
Source: Tulsa Gal

A big part of Easter is all the wonderful foods that are served when the family gets together. Good thing it was a popular to post ads with recipes to help boost sales of products. Here are a couple of cake recipes to help make your Easter a bit more vintage.

1950's easter bunny cake vintage ad
Source: Click Americana
1950s vintage cake ad receipe
Source: Click Americana

How about Kitschy items for your table? Like this 1950’s Swedish Table Runner.

Swedish retro vintage 1950s printed linen design tabelcloth runner with green/ yellow/ pink flower/ chicken Easter motives on grey bottom
Source: Pinterest

A 1930’s Bobble Head Bunny planter makes perfect sense when wanting to add a touch of fun to the decor.

1930s bobble head bunny planter vintage
Source: Etsy
vintage 1950s plastic easter bunnies
Source: Etsy

Every egg needs a place to rest before being gobbled up.

Vintage Silver Plated Egg Cup Chicken in Nest Egg Holder 1950s
Source: Etsy

The Look: Gentlemen do you need a tie for your weekend activities? Then look no further than Wembley Ties (1954).

1954 Wembley Ties Ad - Easter Time is Wembley Time - 1950s Spring Neckties for Men
Source: Etsy

Need other tie options? How about Easy Tint Ties (1947)?

Easter Tint Ties by Manhattan - 1947 advertisement
Source: pzrservices

The men are all set, now ladies what will you wear? Maybe one of the pretty dresses pictured below?

Vintage Easter Dresses Ad
Source: Etsy

Matchy Matchy so you don’t lose each other in the Easter parade (I would assume).

Cardigan ad Pandora Sweaters, March 1953
Source: Pinterest

For those who like to adorn their outfits with kitschy brooches, then this vintage style carrot is perfect.

Easter bunny carrot brooch 1940s 1950s style
Source: Etsy

If you are wearing a carrot brooch then you really do need earrings to match. Like these super adorable 1940’s/50’s flocked bunny earrings pictured below.

Vintage 1940s-1950s Flocked Easter Holiday White Bunny Rabbit Earrings
Source: Etsy

Don’t forget the Easter Bonnets! 1928 Ad.

1928 Easter Hats vintage ad
Source: Old Advertising Tumblr

Chocolates and a hat..Oh My!

1946-- Sally Victor hats Whitman's Chocolate Ad
Source: Flickr

Cards are always a big part of this time of year, as American Greetings reminds us in 1949.

American Greeting Cards Ad 1949 (Easter)
Source: Pinterest

I tend to like to give out funny cards to family and friends and I know my hubby does too. Here is one from the 1950’s I just know I would end up with from the mister.

1950s vintage easter card front
Source: Etsy
1950s vintage easter card inside
Source: Etsy

 

Have a wonderful Easter Weekend friends!

Liz

Ruth Lowe-The Canadian Gal Behind “I’ll Never Smile Again”

A few months ago, my mother sent an article over to me via email and said “I think you might like this for you blog”. I opened it up and it was a small article on a Canadian woman named Ruth Lowe (who I had never heard of). It was a very interesting read about her life, her famous song “I’ll Never Smile Again”. and how she played a BIG part in Frank Sinatra’s success.  Indeed a perfect post to share with my readers and today friends…..is that day.

Meet the beautiful Ruth Lowe.

ruthlowe I will never smile again

Ruth lowe vintage image

And now please take a moment to acquaint yourself with her song “I’ll never smile again” (Link to video).

Ruth’s Earlier Years:

  • Born in Toronto, August 12th, 1914 to US-Canadian parents.
  • They moved to California when she was very young and she lived there during her early teens.
  • The family returned to Toronto with only the piano after her fathers grocery business went sour during the depression. The same piano that Ruth and her sister Mickey had learned to play on.
  • After her father died, Ruth quit school at 16 and found a job in the ‘Song Shop’ where she demonstrated sheet music on the piano. This trade was called “Song Plugging” and if customers liked what Ruth played (plugged) they would take it home to learn.
  • During her evenings, Ruth played in a very intricate two piano act with her friend Sair Lee at various nightclubs.
  • One day while at the store, Lowe heard that the famous all-female Ina Rae Hutton Orchestra (The Melodears) needed a piano replacement for their 1935 appearance in Toronto. She got the job and so impressed Hutton that she ended up touring the United States with the orchestra for a few years after (Source).

Here is a clip from 1936 “Doin’ the Suzie Q”, that I believe should feature Ruth on the piano. Can we also take a moment to be in awe of Ina’s outfit…wow! (Video Link)

How the song “I’ll Never Smile Again” came to be:

While traveling with the Melodears in 1938 in Chicago, Ruth met Harold Cohen a music publicist and fell madly in love. They were married and lived happily until a year later Harold died tragically during surgery*. Ruth returned home to Toronto devastated and during this grief she penned “I’ll Never Smile Again”.

Lowe told the Toronto Daily Star in 1940 that the ballad “seemed to fill my head and guide my fingers as I picked it out on the piano (Source)”.

Here are the sad words Ruth Lowe wrote:

I’ll never smile again until I smile at you
I’ll never laugh again what good would it do
For tears would fill my eyes
My heart would realize that our romance is through
I’ll never love again I’m so in love with you
I’ll never thrill again
To somebody new within my heart
I know I will never start to smile again
Until I smile at you
Within my heart I know
I will never start to smile again
Until I smile at you.

Song Success and Frank Sinatra:

Life went on and Ruth found herself working as an accompanist at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), where she passed on the sheet music to the song to Toronto composer-conductor Percy Faith. Percy would later record the song for his CBC radio program ‘Music By Faith’. The Song made it’s official Debut!

It was not till a few months later though when the famous Big Band leader Tommy Dorsey was performing at the 1939 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) that Lowe (who wanted to take her song to the next level) took matters into her own hands. Lowe waited — acetate recording in hand — by the musicians’ tent for her friend, a guitarist with the band, who arranged a meeting with the New York bandleader at the Royal York Hotel (Source).

One year later Dorsey who liked the song and thought it had some merit, decided to test out on a ‘Coming-Out’ number for Frank Sinatra, who had joined the orchestra as their new vocalist.

Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey 1940s vintage image

The recording, of “I’ll Never Smile Again,” was released on May 23rd, 1940 (as heard in the version I posted above).

Frank Sinatra Ruth Lowe and Tommy Dorsey
Frank Sinatra, Ruth Lowe and Tommy Dorsey. Source: National Post (& Tom Lowe Sandler)

The Song was a SUCCESS! It was No. 1 track on the very first Billboard sales chart in 1940 (seen below) and it propelled Sinatra into Super Stardom that would carry on for decades.

Lowe told her son (Tom Sandler) that the timing — it was the beginning of the Second World War — was key to her success. “It was a song that spoke to everyone in the country,” he says. “Their loves were going to war and most of them weren’t coming back” (Source).

First billboard Chart 1940
Source: Billboard

After this success, Ruth was approached by Sinatra in 1942 to write a closing song for his radio program. The song she wrote was “Put Your Dreams Away”, which would go on to become  Frank’s Signature Song (Video Link).

After Frank…

Ruth married Nat Sandler and happily settled into married life and kids in Toronto. She continued to write songs and play the piano, but her day’s of traveling with orchestras and pushing for her music to be produced were behind her.

In 1955 one of the most popular television shows at the time, “This is Your Life,” devoted a full segment to Ruth Lowe. She was loved that much by the public.

This is your life tv show

Ruth passed away on January 4th, 1981 at the age of 66. In 1982 her 1940’s “I’ll Never Smile Again” received an honorary Grammy and in 2003 she was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

In the end Ruth’s greatest tragedy ended up bringing her career success and a place in history. The only thing left is for Ruth to have greater distinction in the Canadian music world. Her son Tom is pushing for her to receive a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame and to also be acknowledged by the Junos (The Canadian Grammy’s). I could not agree more and I do hope it happens sooner then later.

Thank you for the music Ruth.

Liz

*Other sources have said that Ruth’s husband died after 2 years of marriage.

A Peak Into My Vintage Collection – Adopted Vintage Photos

Several Posts ago, I started a series entitled ‘A Peak Into My Vintage Collection‘ where I showcased some of the items I currently collect. This week, I wanted to show off my photo album of ‘Adopted Vintage Photos’. Photos that I have found in various places (mostly from my beloved Gadabout Vintage) and have loved so much that I could not leave them behind to be lost forever.

vintage photo album from the Vintage Inn Blog

Several of these photos you might have seen if you have been following my blog for sometime and many of them will be new to my new followers (Hi new readers!). Whatever the circumstance that finds you here, I hope you enjoy this post.

———–

The first 2 images are my newest purchases to the “Family”.

I adore all the small details in photos, like in this image the champagne coupes on the table (New Years Eve Party maybe?) and how the lovely woman in the photo is the only one who notices the picture being taken.

1940's vintage photo of couples at a fancy dinner

Photos like the one below, are really wonderful tools to answers questions that pop up in the vintage clothing world. One in particular I see/hear frequently is, “Did women in the 40’s actually wear flowers in their hair”? And the answer is “Yes”, as seen in the evidence below AND above.

1940's vintage image of girls all dressed up for a dance

If you ever get a chance to visit Gadabout Vintage in Toronto, you will notice that the pictures are in drawers, upon drawers so finding a ‘full collection’ is not always an easy task. So it’s also a fantastic surprise when my individual photo purchases, come together as a collection when I arrive home. The 3 groups of images below are examples of this.

1940's vintage images of stylish women with family
Stylish 1940’s family
1940's vintage image of a couple with their car
New Car Purchase?
1940's vintage photos of stylish men and women
Friends and family

The next image came in a souvenir frames and it’s from Toronto’s 1st Luxury Hotel, The King Edward (which is still in business today).

1940's souvenir photo taken at Toronto's King Edward Hotel

The lovely couples on date night at ‘The King Eddy’.

Date night 1940's photo taken at King Edward Hotel Toronto

Friends, here are more photos (but not all) of my ever growing collection from the 1930’s-50’s.

1940's Vintage Images of Men and Women

vintage images from 1940s to 1950s

collection of vintage photos 1940s and 1950s

vintage images of women 1940s and 1950s

vintage images of women 1930s and 1950s

vintage images of women 1940s and 1950s

vintage images from 1940s and 1950s

Hope you enjoyed my collection!

Check out past ‘My Vintage Collection Posts’ below:

Question Time: Have you purchased anything in the last while, that adds to your OWN collection of something?

Liz