Ruth Brown

Definitive Soul

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Ruth Brown's jazzy, blues-inflected and undeniably sultry voice almost single-handedly built Atlantic Records into a soul and R&B powerhouse in the 1950s, charting some two-dozen singles for the label between 1949 and 1960, the most notable of which are collected in this two-disc set of her Atlantic material. Brown's "So Long" hit almost out of the box in 1949, reaching number four on the R&B charts, and she and Atlantic were off and running. "Teardrops from My Eyes" hit the top spot on the chart a year later, a feat her signature "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" accomplished in 1953 and "Mambo Baby" repeated in 1954. All of these are included here, along with later tracks like 1959's "Jack O' Diamonds," which featured the great King Curtis on sax. Brown branched out into acting and other arenas later in her career, but her commitment to the blues and R&B never wavered. Her lasting legacy rests with the Atlantic tracks collected here, making this a fine introduction to this powerful singer.

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