Artists – R

Ruth Brown

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1928,  Ruth Brown (real name Ruth Alston Weston) won an amateur night competition at Harlem's Apollo Theater in 1948 and was hired by the popular big-band leader Lucky Millinder. While on tour with him, Brown was fired and left stranded in Washington DC. There she began singing at a local club where(...)

Ruts, The

A favourite of the late great John Peel, The Ruts emerged from Southall, a heavily Asian-populated west London suburb. Their anti-racist stance fused punk and reggae with street politics, as in their biggest hit - 1979's anthemic Babylon's Burning. But it was the angst-ridden, dub-tinged experimentalism of tracks like In A Rut that set them apart from the emerging(...)

Ry Cooder

Born in Los Angeles in 1947, Ry Cooder learnt directly from folk-blues singers like the Reverend Gary Davis and Sleepy John Estes, perfecting a technique that was academic at first but soon acquired a strikingly impressive individuality. He made his first appearance at the Ash Grove Club in LA when he was 16, playing with Jackie(...)

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