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1949- 1950

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Album Review

Over the years, the Classics label has done an admirable job reissuing rare jazz sessions in chronological order with great sound quality and informative liner notes. They are also dedicated to applying that same care to their outstanding Blues & Rhythm Series. This particular set features Ruth Brown's earliest recording sessions from 1949 and 1950, in which she was a torch singing chanteuse, not the R&B pioneer she became. Similar to Ray Charles, Ruth Brown's initial recording dates differ drastically in approach from the material recorded in the late '50s for Atlantic Records. Brown's renditions of "Sentimental Journey," "Someday," "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe," and her first hit, "So Long," backed by Eddie Condon's band, are timeless and highly recommended.


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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1949- 1950, Ruth Brown
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