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You Don't Know Me

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Album Review

You Don't Know Me features Ruth Brown in a mellow mood on this set of standards. Recorded in the late '70s for the small Dobre label, Brown pays tribute to her early vocal jazz influences, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. While many fans swear by Brown's early-'50s sides on Atlantic Records, her versions of "If I Were a Bell," "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," "Secret Love," and the title cut are still above average.


Born: 12 January 1928 in Portsmouth, VA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

They called Atlantic Records "the house that Ruth built" during the 1950s, and they weren't referring to the Sultan of Swat. Ruth Brown's regal hitmaking reign from 1949 to the close of the '50s helped tremendously to establish the New York label's predominance in the R&B field. Later, the business all but forgot her -- she was forced to toil as domestic help for a time -- but she returned to the top, her status as a postwar R&B pioneer (and tireless advocate for the rights and royalties of her peers)...
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You Don't Know Me, Ruth Brown
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