Ruth Brown

It seems like all the great R & B singers are leaving us all of a sudden.  The latest is Ruth Brown who died at 78 in Las Vegas this week.  She had a stroke last month.

Atlantic records producer and friend Jerry Wexler said she had a hard life.  She had to drop out of music for a while and work as a maid.  "She’d be cleaning people’s houses and then hear her records on the air.  Little Richard once told me he got his squeal from Ruth Brown," said Wexler.

One of my favorite pieces of video is of her singing a duet with BB King in concert.  At one point as they’re sitting on stools, singing, teasing and flirting with each other, Ruth touches his leg.  He says something like, "Don’t do that, I can’t take it no more."  It was a "moment." 

I’ll miss Ruth Brown.  But, I’ve got that video. 

2 Responses

  1. RuthFan

    Ruth Brown was a true American treasure. I had the pleasure of meeting her back in about ’88. Ruth and Charlie Brown (no relation) were starring in a film that was debuting at a film festival where I was the venue manager. The show was great. Later, we attended a meet and greet in their honor. After that, she asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was meeting some friends and just “bar hoppin'”. She asked if she could hang out with us. We were all in our 20’s. She had her beautiful evening gown on and hung out with us like she was one of the gang. Her personality and spirit was amazing. It was an unforgettable night. She was hilarious. She was so happy to be “back” and out of her period of obscurity. Her laugh could brighten up a whole room. She kept kissing me (innocently) and then laughing out loud at my reaction.

    Thanks for the memories Ruth…RIP.

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