#940 (9/26/20)

SPOTLIGHT ON RUTH BROWN - PART ONE (1949-1952)

"So Long"
Ruth Brown
Eddie Condon's Orchestra
on Atlantic 879
released in 1949


"I'll Get Along Somehow"
Ruth Brown
Budd Johnson's Orchestra
on Atlantic 887
released in 1949


"Am I Making The Same Mistake Again?"/
"Teardrops From My Eyes"
Ruth Brown
Budd Johnson's Orchestra
on Atlantic 919
released in 1950

"I'll Wait For You"/
"Standing On The Corner"
Ruth Brown
Budd Johnson's Orchestra
on Atlantic 930
released in 1951

"Three Letters"/
"Good-For-Nothin' Joe"
Ruth Brown
With Orchestra
on Atlantic 930
released in 1952

(Includes Audio For Fifteen Songs)



Ruth Brown with (left) Atlantic Records President Herb Abramson and (right) Vice-President Ahmet Ertegun. Picture is from the cover of The Cash Box magazine dated December 23, 1950.

THE CASH BOX, December 23, 1950:
INSCRIPTION: Songstress Ruth Brown dries her tears as Atlantic Records prexy Herb Abramson and VP Ahmet Ertegun assure her that there's no reason at all to cry with her terrific recording of "Teardrops From My Eyes" hitting the number one spot in most blues 'n rhythm locations throughout the country. Ruth made her first record just a little over a year ago, the spectacular "So Long", which immediately esteblished her as a recording and cafe star. Since then "I'll Get Along Somehow" and "Someday" have been big favorites.

Click HERE for an article about Ruth Brown by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)



RUTH BROWN


Above Left: THE CASH BOX, July 7, 1949: RACE DISK O' THE WEEK

Above Right: THE CASH BOX, July 30, 1949.

Above Left: THE CASH BOX, October 15, 1949.

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, October 1, 1949.


EXTRA AUDIO #1 (Windows Media Player) STICK McGHEE/JOE MORRIS:
Above Left: Label image for Atlantic 955 recorded on December 8, 1951 and released early in 1952.

Above Middle: Stick McGhee. Encription on photo is "To Grace Best of everything through life. Your friend til the end. Stick McGhee".

Above Right: Label image for Atlantic 885 recorded on December 22, 1948 and released early in 1949.

THE BILLBOARD, July 31, 1948: ....Former Lionel Hampton ork trumpeter, Joe Morris, and his ork, which features tenor Johnny Griffin, signed to a three-year waxing pact with Atlantic Records....

THE BILLBOARD, October 2, 1948: ....Milt Shaw and Judd Bernard are co-managing the Joe Morris group which features tenor Johnny Griffin, which made its first public dent with some Atlantic Records. The group opened at the Three Deuces nitery here Sunday....

THE BILLBOARD, March 5, 1949: ....Atlantic Records has signed "Stick" McGhee to an exclusive three-year pact. McGhee, who sings blues and ballads, is the brother of blues warbler, Brownie McGhee....

The Cash Box Review (2/9/52):

STICK McGHEE — Atlantic 955....
Wee Wee Hours (Parts 1 & 2)
Two sides are devoted to a low down blues number that's belted home convincingly by Stick McGhee and His Buddies. The first end features the forceful vocalizing of McGhee, while the under siding is an instrumental treatment of the same tune. Each deck makes for good listening.

The Billboard Review (3/1/52):

STICK McGHEE ORK — Atlantic 955....
Wee Wee Hours (Parts 1 & 2)
(74) Side one is all vocal; side two all instrumental. Item is one of those after hours drag blues. The instrumental side probably has more juke value than the vocal. Should show a profit, but doesn't figure to break down fences.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Wee Wee Hours Part 1" - Stick McGhee And His Buddies - Atlantic 955 - 1952. [Vocal With Ensemble]
2. "Wee Wee Hours Part 2" - Stick McGhee And His Buddies - Atlantic 955 - 1952. [Instrumental]
3. "Chuck-A-Boogie" - Joe Morris And His Orchestra - Atlantic 885 - 1949. [Instrumental]
4. "Boogie-Woogie March" - Joe Morris And His Orchestra - Atlantic 885 - 1949. [Instrumental]

ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.


Above: Label images for Atlantic 879 recorded on May 25,1949 and Atlantic 887 recorded on September 18, 1949. They were both released in 1949.

THE BILLBOARD, November 6, 1948: ....Ruth Brown, new thrush recording for Atlantic diskery, opened Friday for a week at the Apollo Theater. Blanche Calloway is her manager....

THE BILLBOARD, May 28, 1949: ....Thrush Ruth Brown, injured in an auto accident last fall, has recovered fully and will resume singing soon....

THE BILLBOARD, July 23, 1949: CAFE SOCIETY OPENS AFTER WEEK"S CLOSE
NEW YORK—Cafe Society, which shuttered two weeks ago for lack of a suitable attraction, reopened last night with Josh White heading the show. Also featured is Ruth Brown, young thrush recently discovered by Atlantic Records. This is Miss Brown's first local engagement.

The Billboard Review (7/16/49):

RUTH BROWN (Eddie Condon & Ork) — Atlantic 879....
So Long/It's Raining
(82) A new singer with a distinctive style and voice delivers a satisfactory ballad. Should cause plenty of talk and spinner play. Miss Brown sounds like a real comer.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 80-89 was considered "excellent".)

INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, July 23, 1949: A NEW STAR ON WAX
Atlantic Records has gobbled up a new singing sensation who is destined to make all the top-notchers look to their laurels, but quick. The chirptress hails from Baltimore-Washington area where she has been held over repeatedly by popular demand, and is not known nationally—that is, not yet. But she will be.

Her name? Ruth Brown. Her initial vehicles, SO LONG and IT'S RAINING (Atlantic waxing), both good torch blues. And behind her is the Eddie Condon NBC Television ork.

Funny thing about her voice, though. On both sides, especially the "So Long" effort, one immediately thinks of Little Miss Cornshucks. Careful listening, however, shows Ruth Brown to have a deeper, richer tone, uniqueness of phrasing, and a veritable wealth of expression (that tear-jerking quality seems a "natural" for her).

(NOTE: Little Miss Cornshucks recorded this same "So Long" song, which was released on Sunbeam in 1946.)

NEW YORK AGE, July 30, 1949:
A new star is soaring to the heights at Cafe Society. Ruth Brown, the winsome little nineteen-year-old with the terrific voice, may well be the singing discovery of the year. Ahmet Ertigan [sic] of Atlantic Records and his partner, Mr. Abramson, are responsible for this, and an interesting story goes along with it. The two men went expressly to Washington to hear Ruth who was being managed by Blanche Calloway—Cab's sister— and when thay heard the tremendous range and the expert way of handling the singer had, they signed her to a long-term contract with Atlantic Records—on the spot!

They financed her trip to New York where she was to appear with Dizzie Gillespie at the Apollo... everything was like "Cinderella" come to life... and then, while driving up to New York, Blanche Calloway and Ruth Brown had an accident with both of them badly hurt and Ruth with a broken hip.

That was in October. Today, Ruth, as plucky a little trooper as has ever been, is startling the patrons of Cafe Society with her performance. When she sings "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe", something tugs at your emotions, no matter how blase you are. It has been said that she may be another Ella Fitzgerald, yet definitely Ruth Brown. Good luck, girl!

THE BILLBOARD, July 30, 1949: CAFE SOCIETY REVIEW - NEW PERSONALITY
Ruth Brown looks like another "first" for the spot that introduced Lena Horne, Billie Holiday and a raft of other distinctive Negro personalities. This little gal from Virginia, making her first local appearance, brings a new sound to blues, ballads, and rhythm tunes. Biggest hands were won by her blues shouts and a rhythmic Hucklebuck, but when she's warmed up the gal wails, chokes, croons, and talks her way thru a great torch ballad. Best of those caught were "Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe" and "Why Can't You Behave?", both delivered with considerable intensity. Her appearance parallels the basic sex appeal of her sound.


APOLLO FLYER FOR SHOWS STARTING ON NOVEMBER 4, 1949

THE BILLBOARD, November 5, 1949: ....Ruth Brown, an Atlantic Records artist, plays the Apollo Theater the week of November 9, then goes into the Piccadilly Lounge, Newark, N.J. for ten days prior to embarking on a theater tour booked by General Artists Corporation (GAC)....

NEW YORK AGE, November 26, 1949: RUTH READS
(See picture at left) Last week, Larry Douglas' column stated that the singing sensation, Ruth Brown, is great and that she should be recording for a "bigtime" label as well as starring at a Broadway theatre spot, such as the Capitol or Paramount. At left, Miss Brown received hundreds of "fan letters" agreeing with "Age" columnist Douglas.

(NOTE: Ruth Brown remained loyal to Atlantic Records, staying with them throughout the 1950's and beyond. Atlantic became one of the biggest independent labels in the business. In the early 1950's, they became known as "the label that Ruth built". Ruth provided the label with a seemingly never-ending string of hit records.)

THE BILLBOARD, December 3, 1949: ....Atlantic Record's prexy, Herb Abramson, who once came up with an "Open the Door, Richard" for National, and also waxed that label's big sides with The Ravens and Billy Eckstine, has come up with a new star, Ruth Brown, on his own label. Her first record, "So Long", has been out three months and sold 65,000. The label's big click was Stick McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-0-Dee", released in March and, according to publisher's statement, hitting 170,000 at the end of the last quarter. It's now up to about 200,000 and is enjoying a late spurt. Joe Morris' small combo disking of "Beans and Corn Bread" has done 70,000 to date. The diskery anticipates a total sale of 950,000 disks this year....

THE BILLBOARD, December 24, 1949: ....Trumpeter-blues warbler Jimmy Brown, husband of the label's chirp, Ruth Brown, signed an exclusive contract with Atlantic and recorded last week. Because of the abundance of Browns in the field, he's being billed as Jimmy Earle, however.

Ruth Brown, whose disking of "So Long" is currently heading Atlantic's list, has been booked on a theater tour with Louis Jordan, teeing off at the Howard, Washington, December 23. This will be followed by the Royal, Baltimore, December 30, and the Apollo here January 6. Following that she goes into Bop City [Broadway night club] along with Gene Krupa, for two weeks beginning January 19....


THE BILLBOARD DATED OCTOBER 22, 1949

The Cash Box Review (10/15/49):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 887....
I'll Get Along Somehow/Rocking Blues
Fresh wax by chirp Ruth Brown, who clicked so big with her rendition of “So Long”, shows heavy promise of catching on. “I’ll Get Along Somehow” has Ruth delivering her vocal with a ton of tricks and quivers. Tempo is slow and moody, and makes for top notch listening. It’s the gal’s pipes all the way on this side. The flip is just what the title indicates, a slow tempting blues tune, with Ruth in excellent voice throughout. Instrumental backing fits the mood and manner of the songs effectively. Top deck rates a spot on your machines.

The Billboard Review (11/12/49):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 887....
I'll Get Along Somehow (Parts I & II)
(86) Side issued a couple weeks ago is now recoupled with a newly cut Part 2, replacing "Rocking Blues". Still sounds mighty strong. Part 2 features a recitation like the Larry Darnell version. Miss Brown's is well written and beautifully said. Should do well.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 80-89 was considered "excellent".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "So Long" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 879 - 1949.
2. "I'll Get Along Somehow" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 887 - 1949.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


EXTRA AUDIO #2 (Windows Media Player) LARRY DARNELL:
At Left: Larry Darnell photo [Courtesy of Paul Ressler].

Above Left: Label image for Regal 3236 recorded in September 1949 and released shortly afterward. This is the first Regal release for Darnell out of a total of ten, from 1949 to 1951. It was a big hit for him, overshadowing Ruth Brown's version.

Above Middle: THE BILLBOARD, December 10, 1949.

Above Right: HATTIESBURG AMERICAN, May 1, 1950.

The Cash Box Review (10/29/49):

LARRY DARNELL — Regal 3236....
I'll Get Along Somehow - Parts I & II
New voice on the wax horizon is Larry Darnell, who comes up with a winner in his first disking tagged "I'll Get Along Somehow". This platter is truly an unusual one and should attract wide attention in the music business. Song is currently enjoying a wave of popularity which should be stimulated once this recording gets around. Top deck is offered in straight vocal manner, while flip has Larry doing a recitation that highlights the biscuit. Vocal refrain of the balladeer is excellent, as is the orchestral backing. Disk is a winner—get it.

The Billboard Review (11/5/49):

LARRY DARNELL — Regal 3236....
I'll Get Along Somehow (Parts I & II)
(86) This unusual performance has "hit" written all over it. Darnell, a new young warbler, sings part one in a caressing, note-twisting fashion, then launches into a spoken recitation on part two. Drips with sentiment, but in a convincing manner.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 80-89 was considered "excellent".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"I'll Get Along Somehow" - Larry Darnell - Regal 3236 - 1949.


Above: DETROIT FREE PRESS, July 31, 1950.

At Right: Ruth Brown photograph. Inscription: "To a grand person. With all good wishes, Ruth Brown"


Above: Label images for both sides of Atlantic 919, recorded in September 1950 and released that same month.

THE BILLBOARD, April 1, 1950....Chirp Ruth Brown goes into the Apollo Theater Easter week, for her third appearance there in the past six months. Gal cut an Atlantic disk date Thursday with string-choral backing, scored and conducted by Sid Bass....
(NOTE: Four sides from this February 28, 1950 session were released, on Atlantic 905 and 907.)

THE BILLBOARD, May 6, 1950 RUTH BROWN, SINGER, MARRIED TO RAVEN
NEW YORK—Wedding bells rang last week for luscious Ruth Brown, the popular songbird, who is doing a love duet with her new husband, Leonard (Zeekie) Puzey of The Ravens, one of America's leading quartets. The two were secretly married a few hours before Ruth flew to Chicago for a Regal Theatre engagement. Her new husband is enroute to Las Vegas with the quartet. So— no honeymoon.

The wedding itself came as a surprise, for the 21-year-old lass, who wears all of her gowns off shoulders, was thought to be stealing the heart of heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles. The two made a guest appearance on the Apollo stage last month. She sang "I Can Dream, Can't I?" and Ezz accompanied her on the bass fiddle.

But last week, during her own Apollo engagement billed with The Ravens, Ruth wore a huge sparkler on the third finger left hand, a gift from the "lucky" man!

(NOTE: Interesting that the main focus of the article is Ruth Brown, instead of Leonard Puzey being treated equally.)

Above: NEW YORK AGE, May 27, 1950 THIS ROBIN REALLY JUMPED
Last Thursday night, in spite of the inclement weather, the beautiful Bristol Bar, 2399 Seventh Avenue at 140th Street, really jumped. In photo (above), left to right are Christopher Washington, Joe Catros, Bob (Seagrams) Lindey, Ruth Brown, the singer, Marcel Hall, Marguerite Gyles, Alice Baby Johnson, and Terri Goodman.

The Cash Box Review (9/30/50):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 919....
Am I Making The Same Mistake Again?/Teardrops From My Eyes
The great vocal flavor of thrush Ruth Brown, and a pair of fresh sides on tap for rhythm and blues ops. Both ends of the platter are in the ballad vein, with Ruth purring the lyrical expression in top notch style. Ork backing by Budd Johnson's crew rounds out the platter in first rate manner. Flip tune is a comer-get with it.

The Billboard Review (9/23/50):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 919....
Am I Making the Same Mistake Again?
(84) The stylized Miss Brown turns in her most effective effort in quite a while in her warbling of this attractive ballad. Should be an r&b coin grabber.
Teardrops From My Eyes (71) Miss Brown is not quite so effective with this rather ordinary rhythmic effort, tho orking is beat-ful and ear-attracting.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good" and 80-89 was "excellent".)


THE BILLBOARD DATED DECEMBER 1950

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Teardrops From My Eyes" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 919 - 1950.
2. "Am I Making The Same Mistake Again?" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 919 - 1950.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


Above Left: THE CASH BOX, February 17, 1951: AWARD O' THE WEEK

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, February 1951.


Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, February 1951.

Above Right: THE CASH BOX, October 4, 1952.



THE CASH BOX DATED OCTOBER 25, 1952



Above: Label images for Atlantic 930 recorded on December 14, 1950 and Atlantic 978 recorded on September 12, 1952. They were released in 1951 and 1952, respectively. "Three Letters" is the same as "I'll Get Along Somehow - Part Two" with mostly singing versus recitation.

THE BILLBOARD, January 20, 1951....Atlantic Records is going into the 45 r.p.m. field; label's current pair of hits, Ruth Brown's "Teardrops From My Heart" and the Joe Morris-Laurie Tate "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" will be the diskery's first doughnut platter releases....

PITTSBURGH COURIER, June 2, 1951 RUTH BROWN BACK ON ROAD
AMARILLO, TEXAS—Ruth Brown, Atlantic Records recording star now on an extensive one-nighter tour of the South, took time out in Amarillo, Texas, last week to have an impacted wisdom tooth treated. It was learned that reports that the young singing star, who is now on the comeback trail following a serious accident, was slated for more serious medical attention were incorrect.

Miss Brown, now completely well, will complete her tour in Charleston, S.C., on June 16, and then will go into the Earle Theatre in Philadelphia for one week, to be followed by an engagement at the Apollo Theatre in New York. While in Gotham, Ruth will find time for a recording session for Atlantic.

PITTSBURGH COURIER, June 2, 1951 THREE-STARRED PACKET ON 21-DAY SOUTHERN TOUR
NEW YORK—Two of the top names in the rhythm and blues field, Ruth Brown and Roy Brown, have joined forces with Willis Jackson and his band for a twenty-one-day tour of Southern cities. The tour began May 25 and will last until June 15.

GULF INFORMER, August 11, 1951 SINGER'S SECRET AMBITION—TO BE DISK JOCKEY
Ruth Brown, the Portsmouth, Virginia "Teardrops Girl", who, at the age of 21 has become one of America's top singing stars both on records and in personal appearances, feels that she has new world's to conquer.

Interviewed in her dressing room at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York, Ruth, who only three years before, won over a skeptical Apollo amateur night audience to win a first prize, confessed to a secret ambition. In between forkfulls of her favorite dish, liver and onions, Ruth solemly declared that she would like to be a disk jockey!

"It might be a good thing", Ruth says, "if a lot of our big disk jockeys travelled around with singers and bands on one-nighters. Maybe then they'd have a real understanding of what audiences want."

Ruth went on to protest against those platter spinners who stick to only one type of music. "You'd be surprised," she said. "how varied most people's tastes are. An unrelieved diet of any one type of music can get mighty boring—like eating meat and potatoes three times a day."

When asked whose records she might favor if she had her own disk show, Ruth didn't need to think very long for an answer. Her three favorite female singers are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Doris Day. In the male department, it's "Mr. B"—Billy Eckstine.

"If someone approached me to go on the air tomorrow to play and talk about records," says Ruth, "I don't think I'd hesitate a minute—but don't get me wrong. I'll never stop singing, I love it too much."

To prove it, Ruth Brown stepped out on the stage of the Apollo a few minutes later and sang with all the life and excitement that the young recording star is famous for. It was more than evident that she loved what she was doing—and what's more—the audience loved it too.

THE BILLBOARD, October 25, 1952....Lou Krefetz, Atlantic Records, in town extolling the praises of a new Ruth Brown platter tagged “Three Letters”....

The Billboard Review (2/17/51):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 930....
Standing On The Corner
(86) Miss Brown gets off an intense, moving, slow blues, with strong combo support highlighted by a mood-enhancing after-hours piano. Could head for action.
I'll Wait For You (84) Medium jump blues in the manner and mood of thrush's smash "Teardrops" swings a storm. Pointed for follow-up role, it has the ingredients to break thru.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 80-89 was considered "excellent".)

The Billboard Review (10/15/52):

RUTH BROWN — Atlantic 978....
Three Letters
(85) Ditty about a guy who has become a big shot, with head to match, is given a persuasive performance by Miss Brown. Effort should prove a profitable one for the thrush, and another big disk in her string of clicks.
Good-For-Nothin' Joe (75) Dramatic ballad is read in big style by the singer. Deejay spins are in order.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good" and 80-89 was "excellent".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "I'll Wait For You" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 930 - 1951.
2. "Standing On The Corner" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 930 - 1951.
3. "Three Letters" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 978 - 1952.
4. "Good-For-Nothin' Joe" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 978 - 1952.

ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.


Above: JET MAGAZINE COVER, January 31, 1952.
Inscription on cover: "RUTH BROWN—BEST VOICE SINCE VAUGHAN One of the top singers of 1952 will be 22-year-old Ruth Brown, whom many critics say has the best voice since Sarah Vaughan. Ruth tucked away a neat $100,000 bankroll in 1951, expects to gross over $200,000 from records, theater engagements, and one-nighters this year. Her newest recording, 'Shine On', is socking audiences throughout the Midwest and East, as her rendition of 'Teardrops' did in 1951. Ruth half-sobs her ballads, shouts her blues in a brash, vigorous voice."

JET MAGAZINE, January 31, 1952. RUTH BROWN—BEST VOICE SINCE VAUGHAN
Ruth Brown, the girl with the elastic face, has come out of nowhere and in three years climbed to the top of her division in show business. The 22-year-old singer, whom many critics say has the best voice since Sarah Vaughan, just completed the biggest year of her career and is looking forward to even more sensational successes in 1952.

A buxom, brown girl with a sparkling personality, Ruth is a visual as well as a vocal delight. She seems to put all the oomph of her size-16 figure into the mournful ballads which she sings in a lazy, half-sobbing manner, and into the vigorous blues which she delivers in a brash, naughty style.

Her biggest hit in 1951 was "Teardrops", and currently she is socking audiences throughout the East and Midwest with "Shine On", a top recording which promises to enjoy months of tremendous popularity.

Although seriously injured in an auto crash in 1949 and invalided for six months, Ruth made a couragious comeback and has been keeping people's feet tapping ever since.

Her fee now for a one-nighter is $1000; for theater engagements $2500 weekly. Ruth says she knows her voice is largely responsible for her success, but thinks perhaps she also got a little help from Heaven. A former singer in a Portsmouth, Va., church choir, she always says a little prayer before entering any theater to entertain.


Above: THE CASH BOX, April 19, 1952: HIT PICKING
NEW YORK—Ruth Brown, preparing a follow-up for her sensational "5-10-15 Hours" disk, is hummimg some oldies for Atlantic's staffmen with "mucho gusto". Left to right are Herb Abramson, prexy of the label; Ruth; Ahmet Ertegun, the disky's veep; and Jack Walker, who handles promotion and publicity for Atlantic. Ruth, whose "Teardrops" was the industry's big one for last year, hoped to finish this season with no less than five hit records. For a start, she has "Shine On" and "5-10-15 Hours".


EXTRA AUDIO #3 (Windows Media Player) WILLIS "GATOR TAIL" JACKSON:
Above Left: INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, March 10, 1951.

Above Middle: NEW YORK AGE, June 30, 1951.

Above Right: Label image for Atlantic 957 recorded on July 9, 1951 and released in 1951. Co-composer "Nugetre" is actually Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records.


                            PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER DATED JUNE 23, 1951

At Left: GULF INFORMER, February 3, 1951:
Outstanding in performance and perfect harmony are the words borrowed from Webster to describe this great combination. That Ruth ("Teardrops From My Eyes") Brown and Willis Jackson, the "Wild Man of the Tenor Sax", also have been linked romantically has been written time and again. At Philadelphia's Club Harlem, diversion seekers packed the popularly frequented nitery to see both of them perform. They're great, solid box office sensations and loom to be one of the greatest entertaining attractions in show biz.

THE BILLBOARD, October 21, 1950: ....Ben Bard, Universal chief, has lined up a tour of one-nighters for Ruth Brown, starting immediately after her Cafe Society dates. She is being packaged with the Willis Jackson band. Tour, of nearly three month's duration, will extend from New England to Florida....

NEW YORK AGE, January 6, 1951: ....RUTH BROWN really hit peak and kept going with her sensational TEARDROPS—a tune which made 1950 a mighty important year for tunesmith RUDY TOOMBS.... WILLIS JACKSON, the 'Gator Boy latched on to his own work and RUTH BROWN too in 1950....

GULF INFORMER, June 23, 1951: ....Ruth Brown and Willis Jackson headed for the alter??....

PITTSBURGH COURIER, June 30, 1951: APOLLO'S HOLIDAY REVUE
NEW YORK—In a show designed to carry out the mood of the fourth of July, the Apollo announced this week that Ruth Brown, a former Apollo amateur show winner, will headline the holiday festivities. ....she will be making her second appearance as top headliner at the Apollo. Willis Jackson, who was formerly a member of Cootie Williams' band, is the bandmaster for the show and he is expected to blow his famed "Gator Tail"....

WILLIS "GATOR TAIL" JACKSON

GULF INFORMER, July 21, 1951:
WILLIS JACKSON AND RUTH BROWN IN MIAMI; VACATIONISTS HAVE RUMORS FLYING
MIAMI—Bandleader Willis Jackson and singer Ruth Brown are vacationing here and the pair has been quizzed by local newsmen as to whether there is really any truth about that "trek to the alter".

Jackson, who is billed as "the mad man of the sax", indicated that both he and Miss Brown were taking a much needed rest. Also, that for the present, there would be no wedding bells. However, he couldn't explain why his winsome mate was writing love letters in the sand at the beach.

THE CASH BOX, August 27, 1952:
From Willis Jackson: "I'm prouder of this new record than anything I've ever recorded. 'WINE-O-WINE' is a real house-rocker. This side features The Four Gators vocal group with the band really blowing behind them. We try to create a sound that blends the big band, the vocal quartet, and my wild sax into one fine side. I think it's a real mover!"

THE BILLBOARD, August 27, 1952: ....Ralph Bass reported....new tours are being set up for a three-week minimum, with Ruth Brown and her recent groom, Willis Jackson, in one, the Dominoes in another, and Amos Milburn and the Swallows in the third....

NEW YORK AGE, May 16, 1953: ....Ruth Brown gifted her heart throb, Willis Jackson, with a $2,500 birthday present, a bracelet with his initials set in diamonds....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Wine-O-Wine" - Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson Orchestra (Vocal By The 4 'Gators) - Atlantic 957 - 1951.


NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.


Listen to all this week's selections using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. "Wee Wee Hours Part 1" - Stick McGhee And His Buddies - Atlantic 955 - 1952.
          2. "Wee Wee Hours Part 2" - Stick McGhee And His Buddies - Atlantic 955 - 1952.
          3. "Chuck-A-Boogie" - Joe Morris And His Orchestra - Atlantic 885 - 1949.
          4. "Boogie-Woogie March" - Joe Morris And His Orchestra - Atlantic 885 - 1949.
          5. "The Sidewalks Of New York" - Tiny Grimes' Quintet - Atlantic 886 - 1949.
          6. "So Long" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 879 - 1949.
          7. "I'll Get Along Somehow" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 887 - 1949.
          8. "I'll Get Along Somehow" - Larry Darnell - Regal 3236 - 1949.
          9. "Teardrops From My Eyes" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 919 - 1950.
        10. "Am I Making The Same Mistake Again?" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 919 - 1950.
        11. "I'll Wait For You" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 930 - 1951.
        12. "Standing On The Corner" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 930 - 1951.
        13. "Three Letters" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 978 - 1952.
        14. "Good-For-Nothin' Joe" - Ruth Brown - Atlantic 978 - 1952.
        15. "Wine-O-Wine" - Willis 'Gator Tail' Jackson Orchestra (Vocal By The 4 'Gators) - Atlantic 957 - 1951.
 
          
ALL FIFTEEN ABOVE SONGS played in sequence.
 
          ALL EIGHT SONGS ABOVE BY RUTH BROWN played in sequence.



           [To download audio files, right-click on song title link and then select "Save link (target) as..."]


CLICK HERE for SPOTLIGHT ON RUTH BROWN - PART TWO (1949-1952).
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