Name: Moon Maids (Musical group)



Historical Note:

The Moon Maids (also spelled as "Moonmaids") were formed in 1943 as the Swingtet by students at what is now the University of North Texas, where they performed with Floyd "'Fessor" Graham's Aces of Collegeland and the Saturday Night Stage Show.

The original group consisted of Katie Myatt, Helen "Tinker" Cunningham, Arline (Arlene) Truax, and Mary Jo Thomas. Later members included Maree Lee (of the Lee Sisters, also Monroe's lead singer) and June Hiett, who founded the Blue Notes vocal group at North Texas, a group which later joined Sonny Dunham's band as the Sonny Siders.

The Swingtet also performed on radio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Their first break came when they won a talent contest, the College Capers, put on by Interstate Theaters. That victory landed them a weekly radio show, and a nine-week tour with the United Service Organizations, or USO, though the tour was cut short after someone realized that three of the four girls were under the required minimum age of 18.

The group also remained active locally, and the Swingtet would readily approach band leaders at the Casino in Fort Worth and Lu Ann’s in Dallas and beg for a chance to sing with the band. Their big break came in 1945 when they were discovered by Dixon Gayer, a part-time publicist for Vaughan Monroe.

The Moon Maids perhaps became best known through their appearances with Monroe on the Camel Caravan radio program, a long-running show sponsored by the Camel cigarette company.

The Moon Maids performed with Vaughn Monroe with various personnel from 1946 until 1952. The original members returned to the Dallas area and remained active in the local music scene, particularly in the radio and jingle industries, with occasional reunions over the years.

Sources:

"In My Dreams: The story of ordinary people who had the rare opportunity to live a dream," Nostalgia Monthly, November 1986, pages 15-16.

Rose-Mary Rumbley, "Not So Faded Memories... Moon Maids Plus One," Oak Cliff Tribune, undated photocopy.

"Moonmaids (vocal group)," Wikipedia, viewed January 12, 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonmaids_(vocal_group)

"Moonmaids," Vaughn Monroe Appreciation Society, viewed January 14, 2021. http://www.vaughnmonroesociety.org/band/FVmoonmaids.htm

Note Author: Maristella Feustle


Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Moon Maids (Musical group)

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