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African-American Women in Rock: Ruth Brown

This is a guide to various resources at the Library and Archives that may be valuable to teachers who need resources relating to African-American women in rock and roll for use in their classrooms.

Ruth Brown

The R&B singer who built Atlantic Records.

They called Atlantic "the house the Ruth built" for good reason - her two dozen hits put the budding company on the map. She was both a diva and a fighter, a glamorous R&B singer and tireless advocate for musicians' rights. More on

Business card featuring black and white photo of Ruth Brown, approximately 20 years old in appearance. Her hair is parted to the side and she is wearing a strapless gown. Text at bottom of photo reads "Ruth Brown. Exclusively on Atlantic Records." Concert poster in red, blue, white, and yellow, featuring various artists, some with accompanying black and white photos. Text reads: "Show & dance -- Miner's vacation special. Bluefield Auditorium, Sun. June 30, 10 until ? Admission $2.50 per person. Entire balcony reserved for white spectators. Danceland presents 'Fantabulous rock 'n roll show of '57." Artists featured: Ruth Brown, the Coasters, Bo Diddley, the Schoolboys, the Drifters, 5 Satins, Johnny Hartman vocalist M.C., Mr. Bobby Parker, Smiley Lewis, the Spence Twins, Paul Williams and His Hucklebuck Orchestra.Color photo featuring Ruth Brown from the knees up, in a light red dress, strapless, with sequins on the bodice. Her hair is up in curls and she wears a fur shawl across her shoulders. She is looking directly at the camera and her hands are on her hips. Black and white promotional photo of Ruth Brown. Her hair is curled and she is wearing a floral applique dress; she looks directly at the camera. Text at bottom reads, "Photo copyright 1991, Frank Lindner." Fantasy records logo is in bottom right corner. 

Click on image for source information.


All of our books about Ruth Brown can be found here.


All our video on Ruth Brown is found here and here.

Spotify Playlist


All of our Ruth Brown audio can be found here.



Archival Resources


Free articles are available on Rock's Backpages through the Free on RBP link. The articles below may require you to be on-site at the Library & Archives in order to read them.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | Library & Archives
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