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Ruth Brown was born on this date in 1928. She was a Black singer.
Born in Portsmouth, VA, Brown sang in the church choir and joined Lucky Millinder's big band after winning a talent contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater. While working at a Washington, D.C., nightclub, Brown was noticed by a local deejay who contacted the top executives at Atlantic records. They were impressed and offered her a contract. While driving to New York to sign, Brown got in a serious car accident, landing in a Philadelphia hospital for a year.
After recovering, she recorded "So Long" in 1949. Brown stayed at the label until 1961, left Atlantic, had so-so success, and then retired.
n the mid-1970s, she began recording blues and jazz for various labels, also won a Tony award for her role in the Broadway revue "Black and Blue," and appeared as a feisty deejay in the film "Hairspray." She also became a popular host on two National Public Radio shows, "Harlem Hit Parade" and "Blues Stage".
In the 1950s, Ruth Brown was known as "Miss Rhythm," her recordings include "Teardrops in My Eyes," "Lucky Lips," and "This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'." But her best work was on "5-10-15 Hours" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean." Brown's two dozen hit records helped Atlantic secure its footing in the record industry, a track record for which the label was referred to as "the House That Ruth Built."
Ruth Brown died on November 17, 2006.
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