Miss Rhythm: The Autobiography of Ruth Brown, Rhythm and Blues Legend

Ruth Brown, Author, Andrew Yule, With Dutton Books $23.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-55611-486-1
Born in 1928, Brown was one of the top female rhythm-and-blues singers by the 1950s, recording for Atlantic Records, a company that made a fortune from her hits, such as ``Teardrops from My Eyes,'' but paid her practically no royalties. In the 1960s, after three disastrous marriages, her career flagged and she supported herself and her two sons by working as a teacher's aid, a bus driver and a housekeeper. A chance encounter with Redd Foxx in the mid-1970s led to a comeback that included the part of Motormouth Maybelle in the movie Hairspray, a Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway show Black and Blue and a Grammy Award-winning album, Blues on Broadway. Since her career was reignited, Brown has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has also recovered some of her Atlantic royalties and works for royalty reform through the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She and Yule (Fast Fade) tell the story of her colorful life in boisterous detail, from her childhood in Virginia and North Carolina-where she got her musical training through singing spirituals in a church choir-to her present renewed fame. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
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