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Monday, 23 November 2015

Ruth Etting born 23 November 1896

Ruth Etting (November 23, 1896 – September 24, 1978) was an American singing star of the 1930s, who had over sixty hit recordings. Her signature tunes were "Shine On Harvest Moon", "Ten Cents a Dance" and "Love Me or Leave Me", and her other popular recordings included "Button Up Your Overcoat", "Mean to Me", "Exactly like you", and "Shaking the Blues Away".
Born in David City, Nebraska, she left home at age seventeen to attend the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Her work as a costume designer helped her to get a job as a chorus girl at the Marigold Gardens, a famous "Windy City" nightclub.   She became a featured vocalist at the nightclub and married gangster Martin "Moe the Gimp" Snyder on July 12, 1922. He managed her career, booking radio appearances, and eventually had her signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Records.
It was in Chicago that Ruth discovered a new lower pitched singing voice that she was unaware of while growing up in David City. In time, she was given solo opportunities which developed into her being billed as "Chicago's Sweetheart" and as a headliner in the Marigold Gardens, the Rainbo Gardens, and the Terrace room of the Hotel Morrison. Performances on Chicago radio stations led to a test recording for Columbia. Her first record paired the songs "Let's Talk about My Sweetie" and "Nothing Else to Do," and was released in March of 1926.
In 1927 Ruth went to New York to star on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 singing Irving Berlin's "Shaking the Blues Away." In rapid succession she appeared in Whoopee (1928) singing "Love me or Leave me," in 9:15 Revue (1929) singing "Get Happy," in Simple Simon (1929) singing "Ten Cents a Dance," and in Ziegfeld's final production, The Follies of 1931, singing "Shine on Harvest Moon."

Ruth knew all the popular stars of the day: Al Jolson, Will Rogers, Helen Morgan, Sophie Tucker, Billie Burke, Joan Blondell, Humphrey Bogart, Fred and Adele Astaire, Jack Benny, George and Gracie Burns, Ed Wynn, and Eddie Cantor, to name just a few.
In Hollywood she made a long series of movie shorts between 1929 and 1936, and three feature movies in 1933 and 1934. Ruth made frequent appearances in the thriving new medium, radio, and established herself on the CBS Chesterfield hour, Music that Satisfies. In February 1933 a poll of 127 radio reviewers named Ruth as the leading singer of popular songs. Ruth sang with such performers as Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, and Jane Froman. In 1936, She appeared in London in Ray Henderson's Transatlantic Rhythm.
Etting divorced Moe Snyder on November 30, 1937. She fell in love with her pianist, Myrl Alderman, but in 1938 he was shot and injured by her ex-husband. Snyder was convicted of attempted murder, but released on appeal after one year in jail. Etting married Alderman in December 1938.
The scandal of the sensational trial in Los Angeles effectively ended her career. Ruth made an attempt to renew her career in 1947 when she was 50 years old.  She was booked on Rudy Vallee's radio show and then performed at the prestigious Copacabana in New York City.  This new career effort was unsuccessful, and Ruth, who wanted to be remembered when her voice was at its best, retired permanently to Colorado Springs with Myrl Alderman and lived there until her death in 1978. 

Ruth will be remembered as the small-town Nebraska girl whose simple and straightforward vocal stylings made an enormous impact on music of her day. Her life was the basis for the 1955 film Love Me or Leave Me, which starred Doris Day and James Cagney. (info Wikipedia & University Of Nebraska’s Ruth Etting Display)
Ruth Etting sings "If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)" from 1930.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For The Ruth Etting Collection 1925-1935 (COMPLETE) go here:

209 mp3’s graciously donated by