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Miss Rhythm - Greatest Hits and More

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Album Review

Before Aretha Franklin was exalted as the Queen of Soul, Ruth Brown was dubbed "Miss Rhythm" — and with good reason. A gritty, aggressive belter with an impressive range and a powerhouse of a voice, Brown was the top female R&B singer of the early to mid-'50s, and would directly or indirectly have an influence on such greats as Etta James and LaVern Baker. A two-CD set ranging from Brown's early hits to engaging obscurities and rarities, Miss Rhythm offers a fine overview of her Atlantic years. Early hits like "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean," "Teardrops From My Eyes," "Mambo Baby," and "5-10-15 Hours" point to the fact that a lot of early R&B was essentially blues at a fast tempo. The set also reminds of early R&B's connection to jazz — in fact, classics like 1949's "So Long" (her first single) and "Have a Good Time" are examples of first-class torch singing. There are numerous Brown albums that are well worth acquiring, but for those interested in exploring her early music for the first time, Miss Rhythm is an excellent place to start.

Customer Reviews

I will never forget Ruth Brown!

When I first got into R&B, Ruth Brown was the first one I heard, and it set the stage for my love of this amazing genre. If any music can somtimes be better than s*x, this is it. My only wish is that these "pop tarts" of today's music would look back at the great ones like Ruth. I think maybe Xtina did...


It simply doesn't get much better than this.


Born: January 12, 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)...
Full Bio
Miss Rhythm - Greatest Hits and More, Ruth Brown
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