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Ruby Johnson

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A tremendous Southern soul vocalist whose ability to convincingly sing heartache ballads ranks with any active performer, Ruby Johnson never got a breakout single during the soul era. The Memphis vocalist began recording for V-Tone in 1960 and signed with Volt in the mid-'60s, but she recorded less than a dozen songs between 1962 and 1967, also recording for Nebs in Washington, D.C. Isaac Hayes and David Porter produced her songs, and they were backed by the Mar-Key Horns and Booker T. and the MG's. But none of the Volt tunes were hits, and later Johnson sessions at various studios were never issued. She left the business in 1974. Fantasy issued a definitive Ruby Johnson collection in 1993, I'll Run Your Hurt Away. It contained 20 outstanding singles, 14 of them previously unreleased. ~ Ron Wynn

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19 April 1936 in Elizabeth City, NC

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