Ruth Gaylor

Vocalist Ruth Gaylor worked with five bands from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s before marrying and retiring from show business in 1942. Gaylor came out of retirement in 1944 after her husband went overseas, spending a year-and-a-half with Hal McIntyre’s band and becoming an integral part of its wartime sound. When her husband returned to the States in early 1946, she again retired, this time permanently.

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 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Corps, was scheduled to return home from the war, but when he contracted yellow fever and had to stay abroad, she rescinded her notice.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 through the war-ravaged continent 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.[1]

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. She then disappears from the public record.


  1. 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. ↩︎


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. The Online 78rpm Discographical Project. Accessed 24 Dec. 2015.
  3. Advertisement. Fitchburg Sentinel [Fitchburg, Massachusetts] 28 Dec. 1935: 8.
  4. Benham, J.A. “Dance Will Last Until 4.” The Daily Princetonian [Princeton, New Jersey] 20 Mar. 1936: 1.
  5. Reich, Viola. “Aerial View.” Santa Monica Corsair [Santa Monica, California] 28 Oct. 1936: 2.
  6. “Hudson-DeLange Orchestra Provides Swing Tunes For Interfraternity.” The Lafayette [Easton, Pennsylvania] 24 Nov. 1936: 1.
  7. “Club Chatter: New York.” Billboard 26 Jun. 1937: 15.
  8. Advertisement. “Ruth Gaylor.” Billboard 3 Jul. 1937: 19.
  9. “Night Club Reviews: Hollywood Restaurant, N.Y.” Billboard 11 Sep. 1937: 19.
  10. “Club Chatter.” Billboard 20 Nov. 1937: 24.
  11. Advertisement. “Will Haynes.” Bakersfield Californian 9 Apr. 1938: 7.
  12. “Haynes Orchestra Booked for Repeat” Bakersfield Californian 16 Apr. 1938: 6.
  13. “On the Disks.” The Flat Hat [Williamsburg, Virginia] 3 May 1938: 4.
  14. “Movie Views and Reviews.” Reading Eagle [Reading, Pennsylvania] 19 May 1938: 12.
  15. “Platters on Parade.” The Daily Princetonian [Princeton, New Jersey] 27 May 1938: 2.
  16. “At Coliseum Wednesday Night.” The Mansfield News-Journal [Mansfield, Ohio] 13 Jun. 1938: 3.
  17. “Annual K. of C. Ball Next Friday Evening.” The Kingston Daily Freeman [Kingston, New York] 27 Jan. 1940: 9.
  18. Gum, Coburn. “On the Records.” St. Petersburg Times [St. Petersburg, Florida] 11 May 1941: 10.
  19. Tucker, George. “Man About Manhattan.” Prescott Evening-Courier [Prescott, Arizona] 21 Aug. 1941: 4.
  20. “Collegiate Choice of Female Vocalists.” Billboard 2 May 1942: 21.
  21. Ray, Robert Lee. “Sweet and Lo-Down.” Bonham Daily Favorite [Bonham, Texas] 21 May 1944: 4.
  22. “Ruth Gaylor With Hal.” Down Beat 15 May 1944: 1.
  23. “Hal and Al Welcome Ruth.” Down Beat 1 Jun. 1944: 14.
  24. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 2 Sep. 1944: 15.
  25. “Come on Over, the Front's Fine.” Billboard 17 Mar. 1945: 12.
  26. “McIntyre in E.T.O. via George Moffett.” Billboard 14 Jul. 1945: 16.
  27. “Ruth Gaylor Leaves.” Down Beat 15 Oct. 1945: 2.
  28. “Ruth Gaylor Remains With Mac For Tour.” Down Beat 1 Nov. 1945: 2.
  29. Sullivan, Ed. “Little Old New York.” The Oil City Derrick [Oil City, Pennsylvania] 5 Nov. 1945: 8.
  30. “Chirps Love Same Guy in Philly.” Down Beat 15 Nov. 1945: 2.
  31. O'Brian, Jack. “Broadway.” Hope Star [Hope, Arkansas] 8 Jan. 1946: 3.
  32. “McIntyre Has A Full House.” Down Beat 28 Jan. 1946: 2.
  33. “Vaudeville Reviews: Oriental, Chicago.” Billboard 9 Mar. 1946: 46.
  34. “New Numbers.” Down Beat 7 Oct. 1946: 10.