Jean on right with June Lesley (Vocalist).



I joined Ivy in 1958. She came to my hometown of Birmingham to play at the Ideal Home Exhibition at Bingley Hall. After the band had finished playing, I went to see the band, and summoned up my courage to ask Ivy "Do you need a sax player?"

She auditioned me there and then and offered me a job! I was thrilled. It had always been my dream to join Ivy Bensons band.

Just a few weeks later we were playing for the American Airforce at Ramstein AFB in Germany. I stayed with the band for about 18 months before leaving to get married to a GI I met in Germany in 1959. I'll always remember my time with Ivy and the band.


I now live in Florida with my 3rd husband! I have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren and retired from my position as a Health Care administrator just last year. I would love to hear from any of the "girls" who were in the band at the same time I was. Nina Dellamura,Tenor Sax, June Leslie, Vocals, Claudia Colmer, Bass,etc. We had a great time! I'm sorry I have so few photos of the band - I lost most of them including a video during a hurricane and flood in North Carolina a few years ago.

I really enjoyed discovering this Website. Keep up the good work.

P.S. Ivy used to call me "Buggerlugs". I think it was a term of endearment!!!

Jean Smith (now O'Neill)
Played Tenor Sax - 1958 to 1959