I know we’ve had a spate of sad celebrity deaths recently – Gerald Levert, Ed Bradley, Jack Palance… but Ruth Brown passed away yesterday and I found myself particularly moved. In her heyday, she was fiesty and funny, sexy and forthright. You can hear her influence in the hoot of Little Richard and the wail of Etta James. In fact, this album cover says it better than I ever could.

For real.

If you ladies have never heard of her or listened to her music, I HIGHLY recommend you check her out.
I looked for video clips, hoping I could find one of her singing “I Don’t Know” which is my absolute favorite song of hers, or “If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sitting On It,” which is a delightfully raunchy story of an antiques dealer offering a chair for sale. Mmmm-hmm.
All I could find was this vintage documentary clip of one of her biggest hits, “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.”

Ruth Brown, you will be missed.

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