Ruth McCullough Dyer, 80, big band singer in the 1940s, died Friday in San Diego of congestive heart failure.
Dyer, a graduate of the Washington School for Secretaries in her native Washington, D.C., began singing professionally as a teenager. She worked with the Rod Raffell band in the 1930s and then in New York with the Sonny Dunham and Isham Jones bands as well as the Mitchellaires before joining the Tony Pastor Band.
Pastor, a novelty singer whose work often highlighted his Italian heritage, led the band until 1959. In the early and mid-1940s, Dyer was a leading singer with the band, recording such hits as "Bell Bottom Trousers," "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and "Walk a Little, Talk a Little." Another song the band recorded featured Dyer and her husband, Richard Dyer, on vocals. He was a singer and trumpet player with the band.