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Ruth Etting

Ruth Etting (November 23, 1896 – September 24, 1978) was an American singing star and actress of the 1920s and 1930s, who had over 60 hit recordings and worked in stage, radio, and film. Known as "America's sweetheart of song", her signature tunes were "Shine On, Harvest Moon", "Ten Cents a Dance" and "Love Me or Leave Me". Her other popular recordings included "Button Up Your Overcoat", "Mean to Me", "Exactly Like You" and "Shaking the Blues Away".

As a young girl in Nebraska, Etting had wanted to be an artist; she drew and sketched everywhere she was able. At sixteen, her grandparents decided to send her to art school in Chicago. While Etting attended class, she found a job at the Marigold Gardens nightclub; after a short time there, Etting gave up art classes in favor of a career in show business. Etting, who enjoyed singing in school and church, never took voice lessons. She quickly became a featured vocalist at the club. Etting was then managed by Moe Snyder, whom she married in 1922. Snyder made arrangements for Etting's recording and film contracts as well as her personal and radio appearances. She became nationally known when she appeared in Flo Ziegfeld's Follies of 1927.

Etting intended to retire from performing in 1935, but this did not happen until after her divorce from Snyder in 1937. Harry Myrl Alderman, Etting's pianist, was separated from his wife when he and Etting began a relationship. Snyder did not like seeing his former wife in the company of other men and began making telephone threats to Etting in January 1938. By October, Snyder traveled to Los Angeles and detained Alderman after he left a local radio station; he forced the pianist to take him to the home of his ex-wife at gunpoint. Saying he intended to kill Etting, Alderman, and his own daughter, Edith, who worked for Etting, Snyder shot Alderman. Three days after Alderman was shot, his wife filed suit against Etting for alienation of affections.

While Alderman and Etting claimed to have been married in Mexico in July 1938, Alderman's divorce would not be final until December of that year. The couple was married during Moe Snyder's trial for attempted murder in December 1938. Etting and Alderman relocated to a farm outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they were primarily out of the spotlight for most of their lives. Her fictionalized story was told in the 1955 film Love Me Or Leave Me with Doris Day as Ruth Etting and James Cagney as Snyder.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 23rd, 1896 (David City), Died Colorado Springs

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1937

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, songwriter, composer, lyricist

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 163 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-37285 10-in. 12/22/1926 Wistful and blue Paul Whiteman Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal duet lyricist  
Victor BVE-42532 10-in. 3/3/1928 When you're with somebody else Shilkret's Rhyth-Melodists Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BVE-43120 10-in. 2/29/1928 When you're with somebody else Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor MVE-48076 16-in. 11/17/1928 Ruth Etting Ruth Etting Motion picture soundtrack (Film to wax transfer) : Female vocal solo vocalist  
Victor BVE-49430 10-in. 6/14/1929 Maybe! Who knows? Charles Dornberger Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BVE-53587 10-in. 6/26/1929 Maybe, who knows? Gene Austin Male vocal solo, with orchestra songwriter  
Victor [Trial 1924-04-04-02] 10-in. 4/4/1924 Sure as you're born Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141670 10-in. 2/11/1926 Nothing else to do Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141671 10-in. 2/11/1926 Let's talk about my sweetie Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141961 10-in. 4/14/1926 There's nothing sweeter than a sweet, sweet, sweetie Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141962 10-in. 4/14/1926 What a man Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141963 10-in. 4/14/1926 You've got those "wanna go back again" blues Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141964 10-in. 4/14/1926 So is your old lady Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141968 10-in. 4/14/1926 Lonesome and sorry Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141969 10-in. 4/14/1926 Could I? I certainly could Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141970 10-in. 4/15/1926 But I do—you know I do Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W141971 10-in. 4/15/1926 Stars Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142400 10-in. 7/7/1926 That's why I love you Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142401 10-in. 7/7/1926 I ain't got nobody Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142402 10-in. 7/7/1926 Stars Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142418 10-in. 7/12/1926 Precious Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142419 10-in. 7/12/1926 Her beaus are only rainbows Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142449 10-in. 7/27/1926 Hello baby Art Kahn Orchestra ; Ruth Etting Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W142504 10-in. 7/28/1926 Looking at the world thru' rose-colored glasses Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W142505 10-in. 7/28/1926 The good bad girl Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 163 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Etting, Ruth," accessed October 23, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103913.

Etting, Ruth. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103913.

"Etting, Ruth." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 23 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103913

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