Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ruth Brown - Rockin' With Ruth

Here’s a great 1984 Charly LP of 16 of Ruth Brown’s best 1950’s tracks recorded for Atlantic. Nicknamed “Miss Rhythm”, Ruth Brown was the top selling female singer in 1950’s R&B, just beating Dinah Washington in volume of record sales, although over the entire golden age of R&B from the mid ‘40’s to the early ‘60’s, it’s Dinah who shifted more platters.

In fact most of Ruth’s R&B sales were in the years 1951 – 1954 when along with The Clovers and Big Joe Turner she helped transform Atlantic Records from a not very successful indie label into the biggest selling R&B diskery in the business. Such was the importance of Ruth’s role in the label's success, Atlantic was frequently referred to as “The House That Ruth Built.” In the late 1950’s she had two big pop hits – “Lucky Lips” (number 25 in 1957) and “This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’” (number 24 in 1958).

Miss Brown’s Atlantic recording career kicked off in 1949 with “So Long” which reached number 6 in the R&B charts. This was only the second hit record for Atlantic – their only previous hit being Stick McGhee’s “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee O-Dee” earlier in the same year. This LP picks up on Ruth’s career in late 1950 with “Teardrops From My Eyes” which was her first number one hit. “5-10-15 Hours” and “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (also number 23 in the pop chart) were two huge R&B hits in 1952 and 1953 respectively.

These sides and others like “Daddy Daddy”, “Wild Wild Young Men”, “Love Contest” and the impossibly frantic “Hello Little Boy” are superb examples of the Big Beat with backing provided by blasting bands led by Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson (Ruth’s husband) and Jesse Stone. It’s rock and roll before it got invented by Bill Haley or Elvis or Pat Boone or whoever. Ruth left Atlantic in 1961 and had a brief spell at Phillips in 1962 followed by 10 years of very intermittent musical activity. The 1970’s and 80’s brought a revival in Ruth’s career as deejay, film actress (Hairspray!), stage actress (culminating in a Tony award for “Black and Blue”) and prime mover behind the establishment of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She died in November 2006.

You can also download Joan’s contribution of the 1957 Atlantic LP “Rock & Roll”. There is quite a bit of duplication with “Rockin’ With Ruth” but tracks such as “So Long” and “Lucky Lips” are included in the vintage album. Also included in Joan's post is a folder of label shots, so if you haven't got that one already - what are ya waitin' for? Go git it!

Rockin’ With Ruth was ripped at 320 kbps from vinyl. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/268489447/Rockin__With_Ruth.rar

Or here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PK09Q8NF

1. Teardrops From My Eyes
2. 5-10-15 Hours
3. Daddy Daddy
4. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean
5. Wild Wild Young Men
6. Love Contest
7. Hello Little Boy
8. Oh, What A Dream
9. Somebody Touched Me
10. Bye Bye Young Men
11. I Can See Everybody's Baby
12. As Long As I'm Moving
13. This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'
14. I Can't Hear A Word You Say
15. Papa Daddy
16. Don't Deceive Me

Recommended purchase from the Snapper label "Complete Rock 'n' Roll" series - "Wild Wild Young Men" is a 24 track collection of the cream of Ruth's Atlantic sides. Available at an amazing bargain price.

3 comments:

mrb394ever said...

Thank you! The world needs to hear more Ruth Brown.

Anonymous said...

I second the motion. This is really terrific music! Thanks a lot for introducing me to it.

Anonymous said...

Gracias, estaba buscando un disco Ruth porque acabo de escucharla por primera vez en Lucky Lips y me ha parecido una excepcional voz.

Saludos