Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 11 August 1920, Chicago; d 2 May 1973, Encino CA) Singer. She was the younger half-sister of bandleader Ina Ray Hutton and sang in her band under the name Elaine Merritt. They had African-American ancestry, but June in particular passed for white all her life. In 1941 she joined the Starlighters, bandleader Charlie Spivak’s vocal group; they appeared in a Betty Grable movie, Pin-Up Girl ’43. She made a record with Paul Weston on Capitol, replaced Jo Stafford in the Pied Pipers ’44 (also on Capitol) and sang on their no. 1 hit ‘Dream’ ’45. She went solo ’50 and recorded for Decca, on one record with Artie Shaw; she also covered Lefty Frizzell’s country hit ‘If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time’, backed with a cover of Ruth Brown’s R&B hit ‘Teardrops From My Eyes’. She married arranger/conductor Axel Stordahl ‘51, who backed her on Capitol records including a cover of the Crows’ doo-wop hit ‘Gee’. She had fans, but she never made the Billboard retail pop chart as a solo.