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 126-150 of 163 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||W151516||10-in.||4/13/1931||Were you sincere?||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with piano||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151519||10-in.||4/16/1931||Out of nowhere||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with piano||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151520||10-in.||4/16/1931||Say a little prayer for me||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with piano||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151569||10-in.||5/26/1931||Faithfully yours||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151570||10-in.||5/26/1931||(There ought to be a) moonlight saving time||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151688||10-in.||7/15/1931||I'm good for nothing but love||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151689||10-in.||7/15/1931||I'm falling in love||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||vocalist, songwriter|
|Columbia||W151761||10-in.||9/1/1931||Guilty||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151762||10-in.||9/1/1931||Now that you're gone||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151858||10-in.||10/20/1931||A faded summer love||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W151859||10-in.||10/20/1931||Good night, sweetheart||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152037||10-in.||12/9/1931||Too late||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152038||10-in.||12/9/1931||Cuban love song||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152123||10-in.||3/7/1932||When we're alone||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152124||10-in.||3/7/1932||Kiss me goodnight!||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152190||10-in.||5/10/1932||That's something to be thankful for||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152191||10-in.||5/10/1932||The voice in the old village choir||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152229||10-in.||6/30/1932||Holding my honey's hand||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||W152230||10-in.||6/30/1932||The night when love was born||Ruth Etting||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|OKeh||W80330||10-in.||1/24/1927||Wistful and blue||Markel's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|OKeh||W81919||10-in.||12/5/1927||When you're with somebody else||Lanin’s Famous Players||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet||composer|
|OKeh||W82072||10-in.||12/14/1927||When you're with somebody else||Mark Fisher||Male vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano||composer|
|OKeh||W402533||10-in.||7/12/1929||Maybe! Who knows?||Dorsey Brothers Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Brunswick||C592-C593||10-in.||9/9/1926||Wistful and blue||Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal||lyricist|
|Brunswick||C612-C613||10-in.||9/10/1926||Wistful and blue||Jules Herbuveaux ; Palmer House Victorians||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
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.
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