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Ruth Brown

Ruth Alston Brown (née Weston, January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the "Queen of R&B". She was noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean". For these contributions, Atlantic became known as "the house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for the old Yankee Stadium).

Following a resurgence that began in the mid-1970s and peaked in the 1980s, Brown used her influence to press for musicians' rights regarding royalties and contracts; these efforts led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her performances in the Broadway musical Black and Blue earned Brown a Tony Award, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award. Brown was a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. In 2017, Brown was inducted into National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 12th, 1928 (Portsmouth), Died November 17th, 2006 (Las Vegas)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1936 - 1964

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 114481 2/4/1964 What happened to you? Ruth Brown vocalist  
Decca 114482 2/4/1964 Yes sir, that's my baby Ruth Brown vocalist  
Decca 114485 2/4/1964 I love him and I knew it Ruth Brown vocalist  
Decca 114486 2/4/1964 Come a little closer Ruth Brown vocalist  
Decca DLA 408 10-in. 7/2/1936 Empty saddles Jan Garber Orchestra vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Brown, Ruth," accessed December 3, 2020,

Brown, Ruth. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 3, 2020, from

"Brown, Ruth." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 3 December 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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