Panel 4: Family Life

Described under the heading Accessible Text
Exhibit Panel 4


Audio Clips for Panel 4

1. Milt Hinton discussing meeting his father as an adult:



2. Selections from “Mona’s Feeling Lonely” from The Rhythm Section (recorded 1956), Epic LN3271:



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Accessible Text

Following is the complete text of the Panel 4 image.

Family Life

Milt first met Mona Clayton in Chicago in 1939 when she was singing in a church choir directed by his mother. The two quickly fell in love and were inseparable for the next sixty years. They became role models to many and were a legendary couple in the jazz community.

Mona began traveling with the Calloway Orchestra in the early 1940s—the only musician’s wife or girlfriend to do so. She was a trusted confidant and a reliable financial advisor for many band members.

She also handled the family’s finances, tracked Milt’s freelance work, coordinated public relations, and even drove Milt to gigs (Milt stopped driving after a terrible car wreck he was in as a teenager). And she did it all while caring for their daughter Charlotte, who was born on February 28, 1947.

Milt also reconnected with his father in the 1940s. Though the two never grew close, they met up a time or two while Milt was on tour and exchanged a few letters over the years.

Letter from Charlotte to Milt, 1954

Letter from Milt to Mona, 1940s

Letter from Milton Dixon Hinton to Milt, 1948.

Upper banner from left to right:
Milt with Charlotte, ca. 1948; telegram from Titter to Milt, 1939; letter from Milt to Charlotte, ca. 1950; Milton Dixon Hinton (Milt’s father), 1940

Lower banner from left to right:
Mona, ca. 1939; newspaper clipping, 1945; Mona with Charlotte, ca. 1951; two telegrams from Milt to Mona, 1947; Milt and Mona’s house in Queens, NY, ca. 1960