Paula Kelly with the Modernaires
Paula Kelly with the Modernaires


  • October 13, 1919


  • April 2, 1992

Marriages / Children

  • Hal Dickenson (194?-70)
  • Paula Kelly, Jr.
  • two other daughters
  • Richard Turner (1976)

Paula Kelly

Big band singer Paula Kelly worked with several orchestras in her early career, including Dick Stabile, Artie Shaw, and Al Donahue, before joining Glenn Miller, where she was brought in to replace Dorothy Claire in early 1941. Claire herself had been brought in to replace Marion Hutton, who was on leave of absence, but hadn't work out. Though also featured solo Kelly was teamed with the male vocal group the Modernaires, becoming their fifth member. Hutton also briefly became part of the ensemble upon her return to Miller in August 1941, though Kelly remained the female lead. Not long after joining the group Kelly married fellow Modernaire Hal Dickenson. They remained together until his death in 1970.

After Miller's orchestra broke up when he entered the service in 1942 the Modernaires, without Hutton, continued performing and recording material, often with Tex Beneke, who formed a post-war Miller tribute orchestra. Kelly retired from the group in 1978, being replaced by her own daughter, Paula Kelly, Jr. Paula Kelly passed away in 1992 after a long illness.