Throughout the 1920s-1940s the “all-girl orchestra” was a fascinating combination of novelty, exploitation, and public acceptance of exceptional musicianship. While Ina Ray Hutton was probably still the best-known female bandleader during the war years, Thelma White led a band in 1946 that could swing with the best of them.
The story of Thelma’s musical career will be found in the Soundies book. Here it needs to be noted that the band seen here, while not together for a long time, was a regular touring orchestra performing in the Los Angeles area, and as far south as San Diego. Big band vocalist Ellen Connor had formerly sung with Herbie Kay. In this series she was brought in to sing with the band and was not a regular member of White’s orchestra