Archives Center Case - Women and Jazz: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, 1937-1949

Formed in 1937, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the country’s first integrated, all-female big band. Composed primarily of African American and mixed-race women in their teens and early twenties, the Sweethearts also included women of other ethnic origins, including Chinese, Hawaiian, Mexican, Native American, and, later, Caucasian.

After turning professional in 1941, the Sweethearts were one of the most popular musical groups in America, performing mainly on the black theater circuit. In 1944, they were named America's “#1 All-Girl Orchestra” by Down Beat magazine. The band continued to be popular into the late 1940s, but ultimately dissolved in 1949.
In this case
This small case outside the Archives Center features photographs, news clippings, and other documents.