Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy birthday! Olay!

Today is the birthday of my friend, singer Ruth Olay. Circa 1955-1975, Ruth was a regular fixture on network TV, especially Paar and Merv. And though she no longer sings professionally, if you look reallll hard, you still might catch a glimpse of Ruth some afternoon on TV news at one anti-war rally or another. And if you go here you can capture more than a fleeting image of her, on a 1959 TV special with Duke Ellington.

Long retired from show business (in the spirit of "been there done that"), she now focuses most of her energies on political and social activism.

Before becoming a singer, Ruth was secretary to the great writer-director Preston Sturges. And she sang with Duke Ellington. Two inarguably legendary figures of the 20th Century. What a life she's led! And Ruth agrees.

Here's a track from But Beautiful, an unreleased album by Ruth that I hope to shepherd to release in the near future. The last time Ruth ever went into the recording studio, and she never sounded better.