Lost In The Wilderness Of The Small Labels
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ruby Andrews, born Ruby Stackhouse on March 12, 1947 in Hollandia, Mississippi, began singing background in Chicago for groups like The C.O.D.'s [appearing unbilled on their lone hit, Michael, in 1965], and quickly earned the reputation of being a very seductive soul singer around the Windy City.
This led to a recording contract with the small Zodiac label and in this compilation from Collectables, although not presented as either a "best of" or "greatest hits" album, you get 5 of her 7 charted hit singles registered between 1967 and 1971 plus one of the uncharted flipsides.
Her debut hit turned out to be her best, as Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over) hit # 9 R&B and # 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late September 1967 b/w I Just Don't Believe It [not here]. After a couple of failed singles, she returned to the charts in late January 1968 with Hey Boy Take A Chance On Love which topped out at # 92 on the Hot 100 b/w Come To Me, but with neither side cracking the R&B charts. Ten months later The Love I Need reached # 48 R&B b/w Just Loving You - but this time neither side registered on the Hot 100 charts. None of the four sides just mentioned are included here.
The same pattern of failed singles then followed over the next two years, mostly as the result of weak material provided by the production/writing team at Zodiac of Richard Knight, Robert Eaton, and Fred Bridges from Detroit. In April 1968, as The Brothers Of Soul, they had a minor R&B [# 32] hit for the Boo label with I Guess That Don't Make Me A Loser, also recorded by Ruby for Zodiac and included here at track 1.
In August 1969 she was back on the charts with You Made A Believer (Out Of Me) which peaked at # 18 R&B/# 96 Hot 100 b/w Where Have You Gone [flipside not included], and in July 1970 she had her only double-sided hit when Everybody Saw You hit # 34 R&B and # 118 on the Hot 100 "bubble under" charts and the flipside, Can You Get Away, reached # 41 R&B. Both sides are in this volume, as are the A- and B-sides of her last hit which came in February 1971 when You Old Boo Boo You [erroneously listed above] settled at # 47 R&B b/w Gotta Break Away.
After leaving Zodiac Ruby popped up at ABC Records where none of her single releases were successful, although the 1977 LP Genuine Ruby was well received. Fourteen years later she cut some beautiful blues sides for Ichiban in an album titled Kiss This, produced by Jerry Williams, aka Swamp Dogg.
Being just 60 years old at this writing, unless her powerful voice has completely abandoned her you hope she'll make a comeback. In the meantime, this offering from Collectables gives you a good sampling of an artist who, had she been fortunate from the outset to hook up with an outfit like Motown, for example, would definitely have gone on to bigger and better things."
What Ever Happened to Ruby Andrews?
Sir Tommy Dukes | Baltimore, Maryland | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so glad that I have this CD to remember the Great Ruby Andrews. So many times great singers come and go without much fanfare yet leaving behind songs that embedded in your memories. Songs Like Casanova, Just Loving You, Ruby Andrew was one of those singers, along with Baby Washington and the great Big Maybelle. These singers have such great big voices yet they never arrived at the recognition they so rightfully deserve. This CD is a testament that Ruby Andrews did exist and recorded some great songs. Thanks CDNOW for making hard to find music available. Now If I can only find the song that is not listed in this complication, a song entitled The Love I Need/ flipped side of Just Loving You. Help me somebody"