Ruth Brown

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Ruth Brown

Born

1/30/1928, Portsmouth, VA

Died

11/17/2006

Birth Name

Gender

Female
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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ruth was the oldest of seven children.

    • The Mayor of Ruth Brown's native Portsmouth, James Holley, described her as "our greatest ambassador". This mayor was present to speak to the public at Ruth Brown's funeral in Virginia.

    • Ruth Brown's two-day long viewing was supervised and organized by Portsmouth City Clerk Debra White, who sat in the back of the auditorium, watching as people came and went. White, says Brown had been adamant "that the public be able to do this."

    • In the 1950's she was nick-named "Queen of the Jukebox."

    • A documentary of Ruth Brown's life has been in the works since 2004 and is being made by photographer and co-producer Jerry Novick of North Carolina.

    • Ruth Brown was a close friend and mentor to singer Bonnie Raitt.

    • 2000, Ruth Brown suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to walk or talk. Doctors told her she would never sing again. It took more than a year of physical and vocal therapy to gain back her strength.

    • Ruth Brown was close personal friends with Bonnie Raitt, Redd Fox and Cab Calloway.

    • In 1998, after many years of Ruth Brown publicly speaking on the exploitive contracts Atlantic Records had artists of her era sign, an agreement was reached. Atlantic agreed to waive unrecouped debts for Ruth Brown and 35 other musicians of her era and to pay 20 years of retroactive royalties.

    • In 2006, Ruth Brown recorded songs for "Honeydripper", by John Sayles, and was about to fly to Alabama to act in it when she became ill.

    • Ruth Brown never learned to read music.

    • Ruth Brown won a Grammy and a Tony in 1989 for "Blues on Broadway" and "Black and Blue".

    • In her youth, Ruth Brown sang in Churches and at weddings in her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia.

    • For the past several years, Brown performed on Thursday nights at the Bootlegger Bistro on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. She used a walking can onstage and sang while sitting down. The club dropped her show in September, 2006.

    • For the past several years, Brown performed on Thursday nights at the Bootlegger Bistro on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. She used a walking can onstage and sang while sitting down. The club dropped her show in September, 2006.

    • Ruth Brown died on November 17, 2006 of complications from a stroke and heart attack at a Las Vegas-area hospital.

    • Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

    • Ruth Brown's nickname was Miss Rhythm.

  • Quotes

    • (Ruth Brown talking about a song from her movie "Honeydripper")
      Ruth Brown: One song that really takes me apart, emotionally, is called "Things are Finally Coming My Way".

    • Ruth Brown: I have earned the right, as my friend B.B. King says, to sit down"

    • (Making a speach at her alma mater, I.C. Norcom High School.
      Ruth Brown: One wonderful thing is that my music... is still alive.

    • (Talking about growing up as a preacher's daughter)
      Ruth Brown: The Devil, had all the good stuff.

    • (At age sixty-one, this actress has finally won a Tony award for the "Best Actress in a Musical" catagory for the show "Black and Blue")
      Ruth Brown: It has taken me forty-two years to walk those eight steps.

    • Ruth Brown: In school we had music classes, but I ducked them. They were just a little too slow. I didn't want to learn to read no note. I knew I could sing it. I woke up one morning and I could sing.

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