Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mona Hinton (1919–2008)

My dad gave me the news on the telephone. From the Milt Hinton website:

Edmonia — Mona — Clayton Hinton, the widow of noted jazz musician and documentarian Milt Hinton (1910-2000), died on May 3, 2008, at North Shore Hospital after a long illness. She was living at the Hinton family residence on Milt Hinton Place in the Queens section of New York City.

The Hintons first met at Milt's grandmother's funeral in 1939 and were inseparable for the next 61 years. Mona traveled extensively with Milt throughout his career. She was the only spouse on the road with the Cab Calloway Orchestra in the 1940s, where, according to Milt, she was extremely helpful in finding rooms and meals for band members especially when the band worked in small towns during the Jim Crow era. During the '50s and '60s when Milt was working day and night in the New York studios, Mona kept the books and made often complicated transportation arrangements. And during the last two decades of his life, Milt and Mona got to travel to jazz festivals and clinics around the world — first class.
Elaine and I (and our very young daughter Rachel) met Milt and Mona in 1988 and 1989 at a then-yearly jazz festival in Decatur, Illinois. Mona sent Rachel (and later, Ben) a number of postcards from the road. She was, to our kids, Mrs. Hinton. We are lucky to have known her.

Mona Hinton, 1919–2008 (

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