martes, 10 de marzo de 2009

Ruby Johnson: I'll Run Your Heart Away (1962-1967)

A tremendous Southern soul vocalist whose ability to convincingly sing heartache ballads ranks with any active performer, Ruby Johnson never got a breakout single during the soul era. Raised in North Carolina in the quasi-Jewish Temple Beth-El faith, she grew up singing a cappella at the local temple, but aspired to emulate the power-soul style of Aretha Franklin and Etta James. After singing with Samuel Latham and The Rhythm Makers at Virginia Beach, she moved to Washington, DC, and became show-opener at the popular Spa Club. Never Duncan, manager of Bobby Parker (of ‘Watch Your Step’ fame), signed her first to the Philadelphia-based V-Tone label (for which Parker was also recording), and then to his own Nebs outlet. Subsequently, ex-Washington disc jockey Al Bell signed Johnson to Stax/Volt when he moved to Memphis in 1965. There, she recorded a handful of classic soul records with the writing and production team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, and backing musicians including Steve Cropper, "Duck" Dunn, Al Jackson and Booker T. and The MG's. These included ‘I’ll Run Your Hurt Away’, a minor R&B hit, 'Come to Me, My Darling' and ‘If I Ever Needed Love’, staples of subsequent soul compilations such as those by Dave Godin. Despite the quality of her records, they met with little success, and in the early ‘70s she returned to a quiet life outside the music business. This compilation contains 20 outstanding singles recorded between 1962 and 1967, 14 of them previously unreleased.,

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