Monday, July 13, 2009

Ruth Brown

I guess she was kind of the Aretha Franklin of her day, but in reverse. Aretha was too tame until she switched from Columbia to Atlantic, then she hit her stride. Brown was not tame enough, and she had to popify her sound to go mainstream. But Brown only managed to put two songs into the top 40, seven on the top 100, all between 1957 and 1962. Both the tracks I have here are from Atlantic Rhythm & Blues compilations.

Ruth Brown:

Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean – Superb R & B from early 50s Atlantic. A song about abuse, and all that goes along with it. A remake of this on Phillips made the charts in 1962.
Lucky Lips – This whole concept is just too bizarre. I will decline to discuss the ramifications. This mild obscenity (shoot! I said I wouldn’t do that) reached the top 30 in the winter of 1957. Even more bizarre, it was a hit again in a cover version by Cliff Richard

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