Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ruth Wallis has just passed on at the age of 87, noted in one newspaper obituary as "singer-writer of risque songs."
Records by this great singer/songwriter/pianist have passed through my hands with great frequency, always getting a turntable play before being tossed into the curb pile.
Not because the music's not good, mind you.... how could there be a bad "Hopalong Chastity," or "Dinghy Song." If you like Nellie McKay you might like the less intellectual, more bawdy, and perhaps equally indefatigable Ms. Wallis.
The reason we've sold only a few is that most original Ruth Wallis vinyl is of the "well-loved" variety-- bumped and scratched around as if playing host to too many a happy party of adult humor aficionados in the 1950s.
Instead of dropping acid and listening to Jefferson Airplane, these young parents of future hippies were drinking manhattans and listening to "Johnny Has a Yo-Yo," and "Stay Out of My Pantry." Ruth Wallis was actually banned in Boston. She put out her own records. And, she sang and played as well as any jazz or cabaret artist; her music and voice are appealing even without the constant double entendre. If you find any records by her, give them a listen. As a start, here's one available right now!

No comments: