Ruth Weston sang Gospel in her father’s church before she joined Lucky Millinder‘s band while still a teenager. On the road, she married trumpeter Jimmy Brown, but a couple of years later she was fired from the band over an alcohol related incident. Ruth was one of Atlantic Records’ first signings, but her debut was delayed by a bad auto accident. Ahmet Ertegun kept faith with her, and it paid off when she finally got into the studio, as her sweet seductive voice ensured that her first release, ‘So Long’ was a hit in late 1949.

She went on to have a string of Number 1 R&B records in the early 50’s  which helped to establish  Atlantic as a major R&B label. ‘Teardrops from My Eyes’ stayed at No.1 in the R&B charts for 11 weeks and ‘5-10-15 Hours’, ‘Mambo Baby’ and ‘Oh What a Dream’ all hit the top spot. They were among more than twenty of her singles that made the Top Ten, many featuring tear-em-up sax solos by Willis ‘Gator’ Jackson. Ruth successfully made the transition to Rock’n’Roll, starring in many of Alan Freed’s touring packages, where she was dubbed ‘Little Miss Rhythm’, and she was still making chart singles until 1960. She appeared on TV with Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams‘ Band in ‘Showtime at the Apollo’ in 1955, where she displayed great comic timing in bantering with the MC, Willie Bryant.

‘Ruthie’ didn’t lack confidence, as this TV performance with Willie Bryant shows;

Ruth Brown Discography
This CD is actually two Atlantic albums from Ruth’s heyday. It has all her chart toppers and some soulful ballads and dance tracks..


After a quiet spell in the 60s, Ruth staged a comeback in musicals, winning a Tony on Broadway, touring with Guys and Dolls and co-starring in the TV sit-com ‘Hello Larry’. She appeared in several films, including ‘Hairspray’, and in the late 80s she returned to recording. Ruth’s 1989 album, ‘Blues on Broadway’ won a Grammy and she was nominated for another in 1997 for ‘R+B= Ruth Brown’. Ruth was a tireless advocate for artists seeking the rights and royalties for their work, helping to start the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and as a big-hearted singer she continued to perform and record to the end.