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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 September 24th, 1978 (Colorado Springs)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1937

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

Recordings (Results 26-50 of 163 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W142958 10-in. 11/24/1926 Wistful and blue Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, lyricist  
Columbia W142959 10-in. 11/24/1926 Just a bird's-eye view (Of my old Kentucky home) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142960 10-in. 11/24/1926 Thinking of you (I've grown so lonesome) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142961 10-in. 11/24/1926 My man Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142962 10-in. 11/26/1926 Wistful and blue Ted Lewis and his Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Columbia W142966 10-in. 11/29/1926 Counting the days (Till I get back to Georgia) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142967 10-in. 11/29/1926 After you've gone Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W142974 10-in. 12/1/1926 'Deed I do Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia W142975 10-in. 12/1/1926 There ain't no maybe in my baby's eyes Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia W143548 10-in. 2/28/1927 (What do we do on a) Dew-dew-dewey day? Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W143549 10-in. 2/28/1927 Wherever you go-—whatever you do I want you to know I love you Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W143550 10-in. 2/28/1927 Hoosier sweetheart (Say who) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W143551 10-in. 2/28/1927 It all depends on you Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W143561 10-in. 3/1/1927 My man Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with violin and piano vocalist  
Columbia W143562 10-in. 3/1/1927 I'm nobody's baby Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with violin and piano vocalist  
Columbia W143563 10-in. 3/1/1927 After you've gone Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with violin and piano vocalist  
Columbia W143564 10-in. 3/1/1927 Sam the old accordion man Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with accordion and piano vocalist  
Columbia W144366 10-in. 7/13/1927 Swanee shore Rube Bloom ; Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144367 10-in. 7/13/1927 Just once again Rube Bloom ; Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144402 10-in. 6/27/1927 At sundown (When love is calling me home) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144403 10-in. 6/27/1927 Sing me a baby song Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144418 10-in. 7/1/1927 You don't like it—not much Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144592 10-in. 8/30/1927 Shaking the blues away Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144593 10-in. 8/30/1927 It all belongs to me Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Columbia W144952 10-in. 11/3/1927 I ain't got nobody (And nobody cares for me) Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
(Results 26-50 of 163 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Etting, Ruth," accessed June 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103913.

Etting, Ruth. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103913.

"Etting, Ruth." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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