Air Week: June 17-23, 2013
Ruth Brown: More Rhythm (1955-60)
Ruth Brown was Atlantic Records first big star. She was so successful, racking up 24 R&B hits for the fledging label, that Atlantic was often called the “house that Ruth built.” This week, “Juke In The Back” adds to its three previous shows on “Miss Rhythm” by breaking from playing every single chronological release and focusing on all her remaining R&B charting hits from 1955 to her final R&B chart entry in 1960. During these five years, Ruth Brown failed to expand on her five previous #1 hit records, but she did rack up ten more Top 10 singles, with “I Want To Do More” hitting #3 in early 1956. “Lucky Lips” from 1957 became her first big crossover record, hitting #25 on the Pop Charts, while making #6 on the R&B Charts. Even though Atlantic was trying for a big Pop single for Ruth Brown, she continued to record some great R&B records like the Brook Benton-penned “I Don’t Know” and the Leiber-Stoller-penned “I Can’t Hear A Word You Say.” Matt The Cat will also dig out some non-charting B sides to round out the show. This “Juke In The Back” program concludes a mammoth four-part musical examination of one of Rhythm & Blues’ biggest stars, Ruth Brown.