Vocalist Ruth Gaylor sang and recorded with the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra from 1935 through November 1936. By April 1937, she was with Mitchell Ayres’ band at the Hollywood Restaurant in New York. When the Ayres left the club in August, Gaylor stayed, singing at the restaurant until she traveled to the West Coast in late November. Early 1938 found her with Will Haynes, but by mid-April she had joined Bunny Berigan, with whose orchestra she both recorded and appeared on their radio program. She remained with Berigan through at least June but was gone by September.
By January 1940, Gaylor was with Teddy Powell, leaving in early 1942 to marry Fred Dick, a doctor. She then retired from singing. When her husband entered the service and went overseas, she returned to work, joining Hal McIntyre’s orchestra in April 1944. She appeared with them in three films. Gaylor put in her notice to leave McIntyre in October 1945 when her husband, who was a captain in the Army Medical Corps, was scheduled to return home from the war, but when he contracted yellow fever and had to stay abroad, she rescinded her notice.
Gaylor traveled to Europe with McIntyre’s band during a USO tour in late 1945. She was so cheerful and uncomplaining about the hardships of traveling along the front that American General William R. Schmidt pinned two general’s stars on her USO uniform and gave her a letter with permission to wear them.
Upon return to the States, McIntyre’s band was placed on a touring bill with Georgia Gibbs as headliner. During a show at the Earle in Philadelphia, a situation arose between Gaylor and Gibbs. Gaylor’s only song on the tour was “I’m Gonna Love That Guy.” Gibbs also decided to sing the same song, which meant that Gaylor, who had no time to prepare other arrangements, had to sit out the show, which also meant not getting paid. According to Gaylor, Gibbs had agreed not to do the song during the tour’s show in New York but then suddenly changed her mind in Philadelphia. McIntyre’s band reacted by refusing to play the song for Gibbs during rehearsal. Gibbs, who said she didn’t recall ever agreeing not to do the number, left the tour at the end of the Philadelphia engagement. She claims that booking agent William Morris, who handled both her and the band, had okayed their songlists. The incident made the trade press and the gossip columns.
Gaylor left McIntyre and retired from singing again in January 1946 when her husband finally returned home from overseas. She gave birth to her first child, a daughter, that September.
Gaylor and Georgia Gibbs had both been part of the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra in the mid-1930s. In 1936, Gibbs, under her real name of Fredda Gibson, replaced Gaylor in the band when Gaylor had left. ↩︎