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Profile of Ruth Etting



November 23, 1897


David City, Nebraska


September 24 1978, in Colorado Springs

Early Years:

Ruth started out as a costume designer at a club called Marigold Gardens. Later on she became a vocalist at the said club, it was also there where she met Moe Snyder. Ruth and Moe were married in 1932. Soon, Ruth's talent as a singer landed her on several radio guestings, Broadway musicals and films which earned her the title "America's Sweetheart of Song."

Becoming Famous:

She signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1926. A year later, on August 16, 1927, she made her stage debut on the production of Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 which opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Her other Broadway musicals include Whoopee! which opened in 1928 and Simple Simon which opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1930. Ruth also appeared on films like Roman Scandals (1933), Gift of Gab (1934) and Hips Hips Hooray!.


Among her songs are: "Shaking the Blues Away," "It All Belongs To Me," "Love Me Or Leave Me," "Ten Cents a Dance," "Button Up Your Overcoat," "Mean To Me," "Shine On Harvest Moon," "Let Me Call You Sweetheart,' "You Made Me Love You," "No More Love," "Talking to Myself," "Tomorrow, Who Cares?" "Keep Romance Alive" and "Keep On Doin' What You're Doin'."

Personal Struggles:

Her marriage to Moe Snyder was reportedly on the rocks when she fell in love Mryl Alderman, her accompanist. Moe learned about it and shot Mryl. The latter survived the attack and Moe was sent to prison. Ruth divorced Moe and married Mryl.

Additional Facts:

  • Irving Berlin wrote the music for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 and was the one who recommended Ruth to Florenz Ziegfeld.
  • The music for Simple Simon was written by Richard Rodgers.
  • Love Me or Leave, a movie based on Ruth Etting's life was released in 1955. The said film starred Doris Day and James Cagney.
  • More Information:

    For more on Ruth Etting, visit this website. Also see this video of her singing "Ten Cents A Dance" from Youtube.

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