Ruth Brown

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Ruth Brown ran away from home at 17 to follow her dream of singin’ in a band. After a DJ caught her act, he sent her to a brand new record company. A little outfit called Atlantic Records.

But Ruth never made it to the audition. On the way to New York, a devastating car accident landed her in the hospital for almost a year. Once she could stand again, she auditioned on crutches. And Ruth Brown actually signed her record contract from the hospital bed. It was a gamble to sign someone who was mostly bedridden, but Ruth proved herself.  And fast. The song she sang for that audition (“So Long”) became a hit.

And they just kept rollin’ out. Her string of early hits for the young company made it so famous that Atlantic Records became known as “The House that Ruth Built.” 

Here she is, straight outta the house she built, Ruth Brown with her first number one. From 1950, “Teardrops in my Eyes.”