Imogene Lynn

Photo of Imogene Lynn

Vocalist Imogene Lynn be­gan her ca­reer singing in so­ci­ety or­ches­tras, in­clud­ing that of Emerson Gill. In early 1942, she sang with Art Jarrett’s band be­fore join­ing Ray McKinleys new group, where she be­came a fea­tured singer, record­ing such tunes as Big Boy” and Who Wouldn’t Love You.” She was mar­ried to McKinley clar­inetist Mahlon Clark. She left McKinley in 1943 and sang with the Dale Jones Sextette.

In early 1944, Lynn joined Freddie Slacks or­ches­tra, stay­ing un­til October, when Artie Shaw hired her for his new band. She pro­vided vo­cals on sev­eral Shaw num­bers, most no­tably Accentuate the Positive.” She re­mained with Shaw for two years and then joined the three MacMichael broth­ers as part of the vo­cal quar­tet the Merry Macs. She left them in July 1947 to join the Smart Set vo­cal group. In 1949 she be­came a mem­ber of the Starlighters.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Lynn worked in Hollywood, dub­bing vo­cals for sev­eral films. She also pro­vided the singing voice for the ti­tle char­ac­ter in the famed Tex Avery car­toon Red Hot Riding Hood in 1943. She later ap­peared reg­u­larly on tele­vi­sion’s Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. During her ca­reer, Lynn worked as a back-up vo­cal­ist for such artists as Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Jo Stafford. Imogene Lynn passed away from res­pi­ra­tory and re­nal can­cer in 2003.


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  • Big Boy
    Ray McKinley (Imogene Lynn), Capitol (1942)
  • Accentuate the Positive
    Artie Shaw (Imogene Lynn), RCA Victor (1944)

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  • Screenshot
    "Big Boy"
    Ray McKinley (Imogene Lynn)
    RKO (1942)
  • Screenshot
    Imogene Lynn
    from the cartoon Red Hot Riding Hood, MGM (1943)

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  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. Steinhauser, Si. “Top Radio Band Boss Adds Fame.” The Pittsburgh Press 4 Feb. 1942: 11.
  3. “On the Stand: Ray McKinley.” Billboard 2 May 1942: 20.
  4. “On the Records: Ray McKinley.” Billboard 6 Feb. 1943: 22.
  5. “Reviews: Dale Jones Sextette.” Billboard 27 Nov. 1943: 25.
  6. “Vaudeville Reviews: Orpheum, Los Angeles.” Billboard 22 Apr. 1944: 27.
  7. “Artie Shaw's Ban on 52-Week Basis.” Billboard 4 Nov. 1944: 21.
  8. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 12 Oct. 1946: 31.
  9. “Music as Written.” Billboard 26 Jul. 1947: 36.
  10. “Clarinetist Known for His Work on Soundtrack Dies.” Star-News [Wilmington, NC] 4 Oct. 2007: 3B.