Ruth Brown was one of the first artists signed to Atlantic records in 1949. During the 50s she had hit after hit on the R&B charts. Atlantic records came to be known as 'The house that Ruth built'.
Many of these sides like '5-10-15 Hours' and 'Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean', stayed atop the R&B chart for weeks on end. During the mid 50s, Ruth's chart run slowed a little. Label mate Laverne Baker was fresh to the charts and was perceived as more R&R than R&B. That is of course where the huge sales were. Ruth managed a couple of top 30 pop hits in the US with 'Lucky Lips' and 'This Little Girl's Gone Rockin''. Neither are considered her best recordings by R&B fans, but what the hing-hang, I like them!
By the end of the 50s, both Ruth and Laverne were overlooked in favour of acts like The Drifters and Ray Charles, who were beginning to score huge pop hits. Ruth left Atlantic around 1960.
After Atlantic Ruth kept busy. She had success on Broadway and starred as Motor Mouth Maybelle, in the original film of 'Hairspray'. She also help to found an organisation that helps R&B stars get money out of their old record companies. So many of them had shabby illegal deals, and made lots of money for their record companies, without fair recompense. Ruth is a great star, and a great human being.
on 22 January 2011
Ruth Brown was one of the exceptional talents on the Atlantic label and although she never had chart success in the UK her recordings are outstanding. R&B was her main music, but this crossed over to Rock'n'Roll. Black R&B music was just Rock'n'Roll under a different name and Atlantic like its Rival Chess had the cream of the crop of which Ruth Brown was one. If this is your type of music, this album at its budget price is great value for money
on 1 September 2010
This is unbelievable what a voice,i am ordering more of this artist,got to buy you wont be dissapointed,i thought ruby turner had the most perfect voice,ruth brown can match her,excellent recordings must buy
The budget priced "Platinum Collection" by RUTH BROWN is a 21-track re-run of a 23-track CD compilation Rhino put out Stateside in 1996 called "Rockin' In Rhythm: The Best Of Ruth Brown" with a very slightly altered track list (this UK/Euro CD reissue from 2007 moves the first track on that US CD to the last and drops two superfluous live songs). Remastered at the time from best sources and with a fully annotated booklet - all of these "Platinum Collection" CDs (part of Atlantic's 60th Anniversary celebrations) have the same great Rhino sound of the originals - but now they come with just a very basic and functionary gatefold inlay, a different front sleeve and better still - a low budget price tag (usually retailing at about four quid).
"The Platinum Collection" Series in general features superb artists from Atlantic's heyday of Fifties Rhythm 'n' Blues and Sixties Soul. Ruth Brown is one of them. Up there with LaVern Baker and Big Joe Turner as one of the label's best selling and most beloved artists - the ballsy and raunchy Ruth had it all - a storming 'hiccup' voice, memorable boppin' tunes (best musicians of the time) and the personality of a Siren luring sailors to their nuptial doom. She was fun and so was her music. Here are the 21-track barroom piano-tinkling rhythms...
UK released March 2007 - "The Platinum Collection" by RUTH BROWN is on Warner Platinum/Rhino 8122-79995-7 (Barcode 081227999575) and breaks down as follows (57:38 minutes):
1. Teardrops From My Eyes (October 1950 USA 7" on Atlantic 919,A)
2. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean (February 1953 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-986, A)
3. I'll Wait For You (1951 USA 78" on Atlantic 930, B-side of "Standin' On The Corner")
4. I Know (1951 USA 78" on Atlantic 941, A)
5. Shine On-Big Bright Moon Shine (November 1951 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-948, A)
6. 5-10-15 Hours (April 1952 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-962, A)
7. Daddy Daddy (August 1952 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-973, A)
8. Wild Wild Young Men (June 1953 USA 7"on Atlantic 45-993, A)
9. Mend Your Ways (June 1953 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-993, B-side of "Wild Wild Young Men")
10. Oh What A Dream (July 1954 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1036, A)
11. Mambo Baby (October 1954 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1044, A)
12. I Can See Everybody's Baby (April 1955 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1059, A)
14. As Long As I'm Moving (April 1955 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1059, B-side of "I Can See Everybody's Baby")
15. It's Love Baby (24 Hours Of The Day) (1955
15. Love Has Joined Us Together (1955 USA 7" single on Atlantic 45-1077, A - a duet with CLYDE McPHATTER)
16. I Want To Do More (1956 USA &" on Atlantic 45-1082, B-side of "Ole Man River")
17. Sweet Baby Of Mine (1956 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1091, A)
18. Lucky Lips (1957 USA 7" on Atlantic 45-1125, A)
19. This Girl's Gone Rockin' (1958 USA 7" on Atlantic 1197, A)
20. I Don't Know (1959 USA 7" single on Atlantic 2035, A)
21. So Long (1949 USA 78" on Atlantic 879, A)
As you can see from the list above the tracks begin in the Early Fifties - work forward to 1959 - and finishes with a Bluesy hit from 1949. Born Ruth Weston in Virginia and raised in the choir - aged only 21- the lady broke huge with Atlantic 879 in 1949 ("So Long"). From thereon in she charted and charted. All her huge US Rhythm 'n' Blues hits are here - "Teardrops From My Eyes", "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean", "5-10-15 Hours" and "Lucky Lips" - to name but a few. She was such a consistent hit-maker for the fledging label that they dubbed Atlantic Records "the house that Ruth built" for some years.
Lesser heard nuggets include the boppin' piano R'n'B of "As Long As I'm Moving" (a very rare A-side in the UK on London HLE 8210), the drum and guitar shuffle of "Sweet Baby Of Mine" and my personal fave - the slow and bluesy "I Don't Know" with a girly group giving it some "ooh wah" in the background. The only track that doesn't really work for me is a duet with Clyde McPhatter on "Love Has Joined Us Together" which sounds contrived and not inspired.
Like Big Joe Turner and LaVern Baker - you need the fun of Ruth Brown in your collection - and this cheap and cheerful 'best of' is a cool place to start that great journey...
PS: the other Atlantic artists in "The Platinum Collection" series are: LaVern Baker (see REVIEW), Archie Bell & The Drells (see REVIEW), Brook Benton (see REVIEW), Booker T & The M.G.'s, Ruth Brown (as above), Solomon Burke, Clarence Carter (see REVIEW), The Clovers (see REVIEW), Arthur Conley (see REVIEW), Don Covay, The Detroit Spinners, Eddie Floyd, King Curtis, Barbara Lewis (see REVIEW), The Mar-Keys, The Persuasions, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge (see REVIEW), Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and Betty Wright