The composer of Mark Dinning's 1960 tragedy rock hit "Teen Angel," Jean Dinning (born Eugenia Dinning) was a member of a popular singing quartet, the Dinning Sisters, in the 1940s and '50s. The group, whose debut album, Songs by the Dinning Sisters, spent 18 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, reached its peak with their version of the tune "Buttons and Bows" from the 1948 Bob Hope and Jane Russell film Paleface.
One of nine children, soprano-voiced Dinning grew up singing in church. Her father, John Dinning, served as the church's musical director. Singing with her sisters, Ginger and Lou, since earliest memory, she won several amateur contests by the age of ten. The first professional performances by Dinning and her sisters, in 1934, featured the accompaniment of their older brother Ace's band.
Briefly touring with Herbie Holmes & His Band in early 1935, Dinning and her sisters relocated to Chicago, where they were spent seven years as staff performers for NBC Radio. They appeared with Ozzie Nelson's Orchestra in the 1942 film Strictly in the Groove.
Shortly after the Dinning Sisters released an eponymous-titled debut album in 1945, Lou Dinning left music to get married and launch a solo career. Her replacement, Jayne Bundesen, was replaced by Tootsie Dinning in 1952. The group provided vocal harmonies for albums by Tennessee Ernie Ford, Tex Ritter, and Bob Crosby.
After releasing several solo singles in the late '50s, Dinning composed "Teen Angel" for her younger brother, Mark. The single reached the top chart position and furnished Dinning with her greatest success. Reuniting in 1993, the Dinning Sisters joined with Elvis Presley's vocal group, the Jordanaires, to record an album (Rhinestone Christian) of spirituals.