I’ve written about my grandfather’s cousin before – Ruth Etting – who was arguably the most popular female singer in the 1930’s, but lost her career due to scandal – her ex-husband shot her new boyfriend. Today a scandal like that would likely give her career a nice boost, and cement her place in history, but back then it was the kiss of death for an entertainer’s career.
She made quite a few films, and so there’s lots of footage out there of Ruth singing – but not all of it has ended up on YouTube yet – although I have no doubt it will eventually! But this is the first time I’ve found a clip of her on a stage, with just a piano. I like the simplicity. And the song. And the fact that at the end of the song she plays with the phrasing. It’s definitely stylized, and definitely torchy, and definitely an acquired taste, but if you like a good torch song, she’s the best!
For more on Ruth Etting, go to RuthEtting.com.