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Ruth Etting


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Ruth Etting (November 23, 1897 – September 24, 1978) was an American singing star and actress of the 1920s and 1930s, who had over sixty hit recordings and worked in stage, radio, and film. She was known as America’s Radio Sweetheart, and was the top female vocalist in America for several years, often singing in the ‘torch’ song style. In 1925, Ruth Etting was discovered by a Columbia record executive in Chicago and was signed to a nation-wide deal. In 1927 she was recommended by Irving Berlin to Florenz Ziegfeld for a spot in his Follies. She was an instant success in New York, and the top vocalist in the country for a number of years.

Ruth was born in David City, Nebraska. Her mother died when she was 5, and her father left her with her grandparents, George and Hannah Etting, who owned a roller mill. Her father remarried and moved away, seldom visiting his daughter. When she was 17 she moved to Chicago to attend art school, and got a job designing costumes at a night club. One night the tenor got sick and since she was the only one who could sing low enough, she took his place, and landed a job in the chorus. By 1918 she was one of the club’s featured vocalists. It was there she met Moe “The Gimp” Snyder, a wanna-be gangster who took over management of Ruth’s career and married her in 1922.

After her New York sucess, she moved to Los Angeles and had roles in a number of films including Roman Scandals with Eddie Cantor. There are conflicting stories about the scandal that virtually ended her career. The marriage between Ms.


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