Love Me or Leave Me [Living Era]

Love Me or Leave Me [Living Era]

by Ruth EttingRuth Etting

CD

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Overview

A native of David City, Nevada, Ruth Etting began her musical career in Chicago where she developed a style that could be said to epitomize the art of the straight and narrow pop vocal, for she never deviated from the melody or the lyrics as written. This places her in a completely different realm from Billie Holiday; Ruth Etting represented the "normal" approach to singing from which Lady Day deviated so wonderfully. As if to demonstrate the case in point, Living Era's tribute to Ruth Etting opens with her 1928 recording of Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn's "Love Me or Leave Me," a song that became a jazz standard after Fats Waller recorded it as a stride piano solo in 1929, and underwent remarkable transformations when Billie Holiday and Lester Young reinterpreted it in 1937. A comparison of Etting's and Holiday's approach to the same songs speaks volumes about the parallel arts of jazz and pop singing (examples included here are "Back in Your Own Back Yard," "I'll Get By as Long as I Have You," "Body and Soul," "I'll Never Be the Same" and "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie"). Although remembered as a paragon of the sentimental torch song, Ruth Etting sounded best when delivering pleasantly upbeat numbers like "Button Up Your Overcoat." On this collection, she is backed by excellent jazz musicians like Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, guitarist Eddie Lang, pianists Rube Bloom and Frank Signorelli; trumpeters Charlie Spivak and Manny Klein, and bassman Joe Tarto. Even if she sang like the girl next door, her story reads more like something out of an old Humphrey Bogart movie. During her early days as a Chicago nightclub entertainer, Ruth Etting became the consort and then the wife of mobster Moe "The Gimp" Snyder, a notorious thug who appointed himself as her manager and bulldozed people in the entertainment industry in order to further her career. Throughout the mid-'20s Etting became famous on Broadway, as a radio personality and as Columbia's most popular female recording star. The plot sickened, however, as her few appearances in motion pictures were flummoxed by careless casting and lousy scripts. Her marriage steadily deteriorated under the burden of Snyder's jealous boorishness -- he even gunned down her accompanist Myrl Alderman, who recovered and married Etting after Snyder went to prison. Withdrawing from public scrutiny for a few years, the aging singer attempted a comeback in 1947 and then retired to Colorado where she passed away in 1978. This double-disc portrait of "The Queen of the Torch Singers" proceeds in a more or less chronological manner, from her early recordings made in April of 1926 to her hit records of 1931 and 1932; sweetly stylish stuff presented during the darkest days of the Great Depression.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/22/2006
Label: Asv Living Era
UPC: 0743625201222
catalogNumber: 2012

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ruth Etting   Primary Artist,Vocals
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Eddie Lang   Guitar
Charlie Spivak   Trumpet
Joe Venuti   Violin
Georg Brunis   Trombone
Rube Bloom   Piano
Jimmy Dorsey   Clarinet
Tommy Dorsey   Trumpet
Manny Klein   Trumpet
John Lucas   Drums
Dick Reynolds   Piano
Ben Selvin   Violin
Frank Signorelli   Piano
Harry Barth   Tuba
Charlie Butterfield   Trombone
Tony Gerhardi   Banjo
Murray Kellner   Violin
Joe Tarto   Double Bass
Gilberto Torres   Guitar
Harry Raderman   Trombone
Walter Kahn   Cornet
Mario Perry   Accordion
Dave Klein   Cornet
Louis Alter   Piano
Philip Schwartz   Piano
Abel Baer   Piano
Ted Lewis & His Band   Clarinet
Jay Wilbur & His Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Ward Ley   Double Bass
Fred Farrar   Cornet
Sol Klein   Piano

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Jolson   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Ruth Etting   Composer
Oscar Levant   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Vincent Youmans   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Milton Ager   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
Harry Barris   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Irving Caesar   Composer
Con Conrad   Composer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Walter Donaldson   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Arthur Freed   Composer
Cliff Friend   Composer
Mack Gordon   Composer
Johnny Green   Composer
Otto Harbach   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Edward Heyman   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Bert Kalmar   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Harry Ruby   Composer
Frank Signorelli   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Joseph Meyer   Composer
Herbert Stothart   Composer
Matty Malneck   Composer
Nora Bayes   Composer
Jack Norworth   Composer
Greg Gormick   Liner Notes
Mark Ranshaw   Cover Art
Charles Tobias   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Robert Sour   Composer
Harold Adamson   Composer
Frank Eyton   Composer
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Edward Eliscu   Composer
Harry Akst   Composer
Harry Woods   Composer
Reginald Connelly   Composer
Bernice Petkere   Composer
Harry Revel   Composer
Benny Davis   Composer
Dave Dreyer   Composer
Fred Fisher   Composer
L. Wolfe Gilbert   Composer
Walter Hirsch   Composer
George A. Little   Composer
Billy Mayhew   Composer
Lester Santly   Composer
Abel Baer   Composer
Phil Baxter   Composer
Mabel Wayne   Composer
Charley Straight   Composer
Billy Rose   Composer

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