The Moon Maids

The Moonmaids (sometimes styled as two words: Moon Maids) were an American female jazz and popular vocal quartet that started out as college student entertainers under the name "North Texas Swingtet." As the Swingtet, they launched and performed with the Aces of Collegeland at the University of North Texas in 1943 and grew in popularity throughout the region. Vaughn Monroe hired the group, renamed it "The Moonmaids," and debuted them with his orchestra on April 11, 1946, at Loews Theater in Washington, D.C.[1] The Moonmaids rapidly rose to national acclaim performing and recording with the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra for RCA Victor. Within four months of joining Monroe, the Moonmaids were on the cover of Down Beat (August 26, 1946)[2] and featured in Radio Mirror (January 1947)[3][4] With personnel changes now and then, the Moonmaids performed with Vaughn Monroe from 1946 to 1952.
Founding members
Katie Myatt
1943–1947 Katie Myatt (née Verda Kathryne Myatt; 1926–1965) — sang with the group for the initial 15-month engagement with the Monroe Orchestra, then returned from New York in July 1947 to marry Moddie Eugene Smith (born 1927) on July 19, 1957, and re-enter college at North Texas as a senior that fall. At birth, she had been adopted by John Franklin Myatt (1888–1968) and wife, Lois "Nana" Myatt (née Denton; 1892–1959), who had taken her home from the hospital after her mother died giving birth to her. Her biological father's surname was McClendon. Moddie and Katie had two children, Steven Lynn Smith (born 1950) and April Smith (born 1952).[6]
Hilda Tinker
1943–19?? Tinker Cunningham (née Hilda Grace Cunningham; born 1928) married Bill Rautenberg (né William Guido Rautenberg; 1924–2004) on July 16, 1951, in Denton, Texas[6][7]
Arline (Arlene) Truax
1943–19?? Arline Truax (1927–1985) left to marry James Rex Meek (1926–1989). She was connected to music and North Texas through her father, Glen Truax (né Alvah Glen Truax; 1896–1968), who was a distinguished pioneer music educator at the high school and college levels in and around Canyon, Texas. He had been an orchestra director, double bassist, and swing band leader. His also had held short posts at West Texas A&M University (orchestra director and director of instrumental music around 1946) and had studied music during the summer at the North Texas (1944).[8]
Mary Jo
1943–19?? Mary Joe Thomas (born 1927) married singer Harrold Curtis Grogan (born 1920) on April 7, 1951, in Dallas[6][9]
Other members
Maree Lee
1947–1952 Before joining the Moonmaids, Maree Lee (née Ahn; born 1924) currently ninety-four years old, from Bellevue, Ohio, had been a singer with the Lee Sisters Quartet (aka Le Ahn Sisters, two of whom were her real sisters) performing with Horace Heidt (beginning in 1940), Ted Lewis, Monroe, then as soloist with Dick Rogers, then with the Norton Sisters, then, after the Moonmaids (who replaced the Norton Sisters) had been working with Monroe, she joined the Moonmaids, turning it into a quintet. In addition to her ensemble roles, she had been Monroe's lead singer. Soon after two Moonmaid singers left to get married, the quintet became a quartet again, with Lee filling the third spot (replacing Myatt) and June Hiett filling the fourth.[6] Lee left Monroe's band on December 20, 1952, to get married.[10] She was married to George William Eger, Jr. (1918–2002).
June Hiett
19??–19?? June Hiett (né Dorothy June Hiett; born 1925) married Ed Bratone (né Edmund John Braghittoni; 1910–1981), a violinist with Monroe’s orchestra,[6] on January 6, 1951, in Arlington, Texas.[11]
Lois Wilber
19??–1953 Lois Wilber (née Lois Marguerite Wilber), originally of Minneapolis, was a member of the Moonmaids for several years. In 1952, she married Ernie Johnson (né Ernest Eugene Johnson; 1921–1970), originally from Rockland, Maine, who played piano and arranged for the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra for 7-1/2 years, and later, for his own band.[12]


The Moon Maids Discography Tracks


SUR3146 Vaughn Monroe, The Moon Maids Vaughn Monroe, The Moon Maids - Magic Carpet - Episode 636(Reel, 7" Reel, Mono) Armed Forces Radio Service SUR3146 US 1947 Sell This Version

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