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Black Is Brown and Brown Is Beautiful
Ruth Brown
Black Is Brown and Brown Is Beautiful
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Ruth "Miss Rhythm" Brown was the hit-making queen from 1949 to the end of the 50's to a point that Atlantic Records was once called "the house that Ruth built". No less! She was one of the main artists who established New ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ruth Brown
Title: Black Is Brown and Brown Is Beautiful
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Vampi Soul
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 3/20/2006
Album Type: Single
Genres: Pop, R&B
Style: Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Ruth "Miss Rhythm" Brown was the hit-making queen from 1949 to the end of the 50's to a point that Atlantic Records was once called "the house that Ruth built". No less! She was one of the main artists who established New York label's predominance in the R&B field. She was forgotten later -only to come back stronger than ever with a worlwide reputation as R&B pioneer and advocate for the rights and royalties of her peers from her non-profit "Rhythm & Blues Foundation". Inspired by jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, Brown's seductive vocal delivery delighted millions on legendary chart-toppers such as 'Teardrops in My Eyes', 'So Long', 'Mambo Baby' and many others. Later, her sharp sense of humor lead her to a TV sitcom and a role on John Waters´ movie "Hairspray", plus a Tony Award for her starring acting in Black and Blue at Broadway. On the aptly titled Black is Brown and Brown is Beautiful, originally released in 1969, she puts her strong voice to soulful covers of 'Yesterday', 'Please Send Me Someone to Love' (Mayfield) and own songs such as 'Miss Brown's Blues'. This material is closer to soul than to jazz, and it is full of joy and, of course, rhythm. Discover a truly glorious singer and a R&B legend. 2005.

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CD Reviews

Bradly Briggs | TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA | 06/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ruth Brown's career was like a wild roller-coaster ride and this funky and soulful late sixties set is after her commercial peak and finds Miss Brown in great form with lean and inspired backing that includes the great Richard Tee with Gary McFarland producing this fine collection of mostly great standards. "Miss Brown's Blues" is a masterful self-penned blues classic that is a must listen for those who love the blues...standards such as the Lennon/McCartney "Yesterday" and the Percy Mayfield classic "Please Send Me Someone To Love" are given fresh and original readings and Miss Brown is in strong and rich voice. Get this deep in the night treat for those quite evenings when it is time to wind down and relax...thank you Miss Brown and you are missed!"
She Sure Could Express The Blues
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ruth Brown released "Black is Brown and Brown Is Beautiful," an album stuffed full of soul, in 1969. On it, she performs "My Prayer," "Since I Fell for You," Clyde Otis's "This Bitter Earth," and Curtis Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," among other numbers. Furthermore, she turns the Beatles' "Yesterday," into an expressive gospel-style rhythm and blues ballad. And in her own "Miss Brown's Blues," she presents us with seven minutes that's almost semi-autobiographical - she lived through some harsh times and places, after all. She is backed by Herbie Lovelle on drums, Eric Gayle on guitar, Chuck Rainey on Fender, Billy Butler on guitar, Richard Tee on organ, and the Howard Roberts Chorale. Arrangements were by Gary McFarland.

The singer was born in Portsmouth, Virginia; she was the daughter of a dock hand who led the church choir. Evidently, she got her earliest training in church, but she soon showed a marked preference for more worldly repertoire and venues. In the late 1940's, early 1950's, she brought her pop singing style to then-fledgling Atlantic Records, which introduced her to the blues. She had a series of 1950's hits for them, including "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean,"" So Long," and "Teardrops from My Eyes." (She was once called `the girl with the teardrops in her voice.') She was so successful, in fact, that Atlantic was known for a time as "The House That Ruth Built." From 1949-1955, she was on the R & B charts for 149 weeks, with sixteen hits in the top ten, and five #1s. However, she largely sat out the sixties. When she started her comeback in the mid 70's, she focused much of her energy on pressing for musicians' rights in royalties and contracts, and helped organize the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, as the 'Queen Mother of the Blues,' and influenced many younger blues singers, among them Bonnie Raitt, with whom she toured.

Brown was quite the show biz-style entertainer, at home, in her later years, on many stages, and on the "Great White Way," as well. She starred in "Black and Blue," on Broadway, and she won a Tony for her trouble. The original soundtrack album of the play won a Grammy. Sadly, the singer passed from us in 2006, but she leaves us a memento: her exuberant performance as Motormouth Maybelle, in John Waters' first version of "Hairspray." Sometime during the 1980's, a blues-loving girlfriend and I were lucky enough to catch her live, at Michael's Pub, in New York. And she had the joint jumping, all right. When Miss Brown had the blues, she sure could express them.