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ruth brown

Ruth Brown

b. Ruth Alston Weston, 30th January 1928, Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.A.

d. 17th November 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Ruth Brown's musical career began, as with many Black artists of recent generations, with a background based upon singing gospel.

The church choir, she built her musical foundations upon, was led by her father.

In 1948, Ruth found herself singing with a band led by her husband Jimmy in Washington, D.C., when Willis Conover (from the radio show Voice Of America) recommended her to Ahmet Ertegun of the newly formed Atlantic Records imprint.

Turkish born Ertegun signed her, even though there was some interest shown by Capitol Records.Tragically, en route to New York for an appearance at the Apollo Theatre, she was involved in a car crash.

Hospitalized for nine months, her medical bills were paid by Atlantic.

Ruth was to, later, return the compliment and provide Atlantic with one of their first major successes, 'Teardrops From My Eyes', in 1950.

She went on to record the albums, 'Ruth Brown Sings Favorites', in 1952, 'Ruth Brown' in 1957, 'Late Date With Ruth Brown' in 1959, 'Miss Rhythm' in1959, 'Along Comes Ruth' in 1962, and a final album release, 'Gospel Time', the same year.

Ruth Brown hit the charts, with her recordings '5-10-15 Hours', in 1952, and 'Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean' the following year.

Ruth Brown was Atlantic's first real major star, becoming a major figure in 50's R & B, and forging a strong link between that genre and early Rock 'N' Roll.

Ruth developed her own musical style, utilising saxophone solos, initially by Budd Johnson, then later on by Willie Jackson.

Between the years 1949 and 1955 her songs were on the charts for 129 weeks, including five number 1's.

Ruth Brown

Post 1962, Ruth departed the Atlantic imprint and recorded sides for several labels including, Mainstream and Rhapsody during the Sixties.

Ruth, occasionally, did make a career diversion, musically, into the Jazz field, singing briefly with the Lucky Millinder band.

Ruth also recorded with Jerome Richardson and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big band.

She recorded her own take on the standards 'Yes, Sir, That's My Baby', 'Sonny Boy', 'Black Coffee' and 'I Can Dream, Can't I?'.

Throughout the Eighties, Ruth released sides on the Topline, Route 66 and Official labels, before recordng for Fantasy during the Nineties.

In 1989, she won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway show 'Black And Blue', and was receiving enthusiastic reviews for her nightclub act in New York, at Michael's Pub and the Blue Note, into the 90's.

In 1993, Ruth broadcasted on a New York radio station, and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

In 1994, she undertook a European tour, where she performed live at Ronnie Scott's much respected club, in Soho, for an album that appeared on their own Jazzhouse label.

Ruth also fought for the rights of aging R and B musicians during her long struggle to recoup her share of royalties from Atlantic Records.

Her efforts led to the formation of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organisation, dedicated to providing financial and medical assistance, as well as a vehicle for the historical and cultural preservation of the musical genre.

Ruth Brown died in November 2006. She was 78.

She passed away after complications from a stroke and heart attack at a Las Vegas-area hospital.

Ruth Brown

Real Player


Ruth Brown Sings Favorites (Atlantic Records 1952)

Ruth Brown (Atlantic Records 1957)

Late Date With Ruth Brown (Atlantic Records 1959)

Miss Rhythm (Atlantic Records 1959)

Along Comes Ruth (Atlantic Records 1962)

Gospel Time (Atlantic Records 1962)

Ruth Brown '65 (Mainstream Records 1965)

Black Is Brown And Brown Is Beautful (Rhapsody Records 1969)

The Real Ruth Brown (Buddah Records 1972)

Sugar Babe (President Records 1977)

Takin' Care Of Business (Stockholm Records 1980)

The Soul Survives (Flair Records 1982)

Brown Sugar (Topline Records 1986)

Sweet Baby Of Mine (Route 66 Records 1987)

I'll Wait For You (Official Records 1988)

Blues On Broadway (Fantasy Records 1989)

with Linda Hopkins, Carrie Smith: Black And Blue (1989)

The Songs Of My Life (Fantasy Records 1993)

Live In London (Jazzhouse Records 1995)

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