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Biography

  • Born

    30 November 1949

  • Born In

    Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, United States

  • Died

    14 January 1995 (aged 45)

Ruby Starr (November 30, 1949 - January 14, 1995) was born Constance Henrietta Mierzwiak in Toledo, Ohio. Starr started performing at the age of nine under the stage name Connie Little and was later billed as Ruby Jones during the 1960s. In 1971 she was signed to Curtom Records and recorded her first album, Ruby Jones. Shortly after that album's release, Black Oak Arkansas lead vocalist Jim "Dandy" Mangrum saw Starr singing in an Evansville, Indiana, club and convinced her to join his band. At this point she assumed the stage name of Ruby Starr.

Starr toured with the band for several years at the height of their success and was featured in their Top 30 single "Jim Dandy". In 1974 she began touring on her own again as Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost (members: Gary Levin, Marius Penczner, David Mayo and Joel Williams) and released a self-titled album in 1975 on Capitol Records. Her second album, Scene Stealer, also on Capitol Records was released in 1976. During this time she continued to open for Black Oak Arkansas and other acts such as Black Sabbath and Edgar Winter. Starr also toured with Blackfoot from 1977 to 1978. Her third and last album for Capitol, Smoky Places was released in 1977.

By the dawn of the 1980s, Starr had formed a new band called Grey Star. They issued a pair of recordings which included 1981's Grey Star and 1983's Telephone Sex. Star formed her final group, Henrietta Kahn, in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, Starr was diagnosed with cancer. She died at home in Toledo in January of 1995.

After her death, several archival releases that featured Starr were issued, including the live Black Oak Arkansas recording, Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour 1976, and a reissue of Ruby Starr's debut album, retitled as Stone Junkie.

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