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This site is maintained by the granddaughter of one of Ruth Etting’s cousins. The submission of additional information and documentation on her life and career is encouraged and greatly appreciated!

Feel free to leave a comment below, or if you’d like to contact me directly, please do so through my photography site at

Cheryl Spelts

PS: My grandfather’s favorite of Ruth’s songs was Shine on Harvest Moon.

33 Responses to | About

  1. Vince Grindstaff says:

    Congratulations on your website. What a great wealth of information. I first learned of Ruth Etting when I visited the Omlette Parlor in Colorado Springs in May of this year. It piqued my interest, so I ordered the Biography “America’s Forgotten Sweetheart” and found her life fascinating. I lived in Colorado Springs during the 1970s and was suprised to learn my time in that city overlapped with Ruth’s. If only I’d known who she was at the time, to think I might have met her.

    Thank you for your efforts in creating this website and keeping it so up to date and full of information. It’s a great source for Ruth’s fans.

    Regards, Vince

  2. Cheryl says:

    Thanks Vince!

    And if anyone else is interested in the book Vince mentioned, you can find it on Amazon!

  3. Karen Needles says:

    I provided physical therapy of Ruth Etting when she broke her hip in the 1976-77 timespan. She was a wonderful woman. We spent so much time talking about the “good old days”. Her stories about Bing Crosby, the Ziegfield Follies, and others, and about the making of the movie left me spellbound. I was sad to hear of her passing in 1978.
    Thanks for the memories.

  4. Karen, I’m so glad you stopped by! And I’m always glad to hear that in the end, Ruth had fond memories of those days!

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  6. I love your website, and Miss Ettings’s singing is just so wonderful.
    Can you provide any information on how she spent the years following her retirement from show business? I’m always fascinated how these magical people return to the life of a mere mortal….
    Thank you for your wonderful website…

  7. Hi Robin! Thanks for the comments!

    Ruth Etting’s career slowed down for a couple of reasons. First, the torch singer genre was already waning in popularity, and while I think she could sing anything well, her popularity was built on being the “happy singer of sad songs.” Second, she had moved to Hollywood and was doing movies, and she was in her mid-thirties – in none of her movies does she look as fresh-faced as the ingenue, and they never gave her much to do. Perhaps if she’d stayed in New York, and kept doing Broadway her career might have gone on a little longer? It’s hard to say? And then third, in 1937, her ex-husband shot her new love, and while today that kind of scandal would likely translate into a boost in popularity, and new opportunities, back then it was different, and the scandal effectively ended her career.

    In 1938 she married her new love, Mryl Alderman, and they bought a house in Colorado Springs, supposedly as a retirement home. But Ruth was only 41 and Myrl 31 – so it wasn’t a real retirement! They ended up turning their home into a restaurant called The T-Bone Club. I don’t know how many years they ran it, but it still exists today, as the Colorado Springs Omelette Parlor. Then in 1947, when she was 50, she briefly had a radio show, and recorded a handful of new songs.

    After 28-years together, Myrl died in 1966, at age 58 – very young! Ruth lived another dozen years, passing on in 1978, at 81.

  8. Lou Dumont says:

    In 1978 my wife and I worked for several months gathering interviews for a series that we called “FIRST LADIES OF RADIO.” It was a 13-part series of one-hour broadcasts aimed at Public
    Radio Audiences.
    Ruth Etting was one of our “First Ladies.”
    We couldn’t fly to Colorado Springs, but I was able to call her; she permitted the call to be
    I remember saying to her, “Oh, Ruth, if only I could have seen you on stage, etc.”
    She replied: “My dear young man, don’t wish your life away.”
    My tapes are in storage….many have been affected by what is known as ‘sticktion problems’
    where the tape ‘squeals’ as it passes the tape playback head.

    So glad to find your website on this day. A friend, Jon Foulk runs a website OTRCAT.COM
    He lives in Lenexa, KS. He sent me some 1934 recordings of The Oldsmobile Hour…announced by Ted Husing, the orchestra of Johnny Green, and starring Ruth Etting.

    So, this has been a good day for this 86-year-old broadcaster.
    Thank you.

    Lou Dumont
    PO Box 1596
    Harwich MA (Cape Cod)

  9. Pam Riby says:

    Dear Cheryl, I am an entertainer/reenactor, and I would dearly love to get a collection of Ruth’s songs in sheet music. I’m going to be player her with the New London Music Hall Troupe in Redwood City on May 14th. I have my music set picked for that show, but I’d love to have as much of her music as possible for future renditions! Let me know if you know of any published collections, please. Thanks! Pam Riby

  10. Sherry says:

    I am searching for one of the follie girls who made a success by dancing with the big bubble.

  11. Lou, if you ever get your old interview online, send me a link! I would love to hear it! We lose so much every year, due to the old tapes aging and disintegrating, so I know what you’re facing, but maybe someday?

    Pam, you’re going to be playing Ruth? How cool! But I don’t know of any published collections of her music? Personally, I have some of her vintage sheet music, but not nearly as much as I’d like! I’ve collected it slowly over the years – vintage sheet music on eBay is a hot category! But unfortunately no published collections…

    Sherry, good luck in your search! It sounds intriguing!

  12. Karen Efferding says:

    I have some photos to share and some I am not sure if they are of Ruth Etting or not — please let me know how to get these to you,


  13. I’d LOVE to see them Karen! If you want to email them, just send them to – or if you want to use the post office, the address is 41059 Mayberry Ave, Hemet, CA 92544.

    And thanks for wanting to share! Most of the best stuff on this site came from people like you, who just wanted to share what they had, with other fans of Ruth’s music!

  14. Alan Lendaro says:


    Very nice job on the web site! I stumbled on it while playing some of her 78′s in my collection that had been sitting for a while. I actually had the privilege of speaking with her on the telephone shortly after she had broken her hip in the ’70′s. I was a boy of 13 or 14 then who loved her old records. She was very nice to talk to and I still have a letter she wrote to me.

    Glad to see she has a home on the web.



  15. Alan, how cool that you were into her music at that age! Very cool story!

  16. I have Love Me or Leave Me in my collection (the movie.) I’ve viewed it so many times I’ve lost count. Ruth was a remarkable woman. This evening I got on youtube and listened to a medley of her old songs. Thanks for keeping her memory alive.

  17. Thanks for the kind comment, carolyn!

  18. Brandon says:

    Heard Ruth for the first time in the video game, Bioshock 2, and have since become enamored by her work and fascinated by her life. Something about her voice is just so enchanting. Keep up the good work on the site!

  19. Hello, thank you for the Ruth Etting website – brilliant. Just to advise you that there are several Ruth Etting songs ( love them ) on my internet radio “Tell Them Radio ” We are in Portsmouth, England so if you ever this side of the pond please let me know and i would be happy to meet you or show you around. I only get to New York or Florida, perhaps one day California.
    btw my email address is JOL 50 not JO 150.
    Hope to hear from you and all best wishes,
    Charles Haskell.

  20. Charles, what a sweet offer! Thank you!

  21. Love Jones says:

    i love your singing

  22. Rebecca Noel says:

    Hi Cheryl:
    I talked with you years ago about Doris Day & how you thought her portrayal of Ruth Etting was not really who Ruth was. You probably don’t remember. Anyway, I just dvr’d “Hips, Hips, Hooray” from TCM and was surprised to see Ruth starring in it! She was so pretty and an expressive Singer! I see why you are so proud of her!
    I am happy to see this site all about Ruth! Though she was special, I have a feeling you are too! God bless. Rebecca

  23. Craig Hackman says:

    I am sitting here watching “Love Me Or Leave Me” on Turner Movie Classics. Then I decided to go look up Ruth Etting on the net and read her bio. The movie seems like a “nice” version of her life however tragic it was. Why do great artists always screw up their lives? There must be a link between greatness and dispair. What a sad story and I am sure there’s more to it. I can’t understand or get from the movie if she was as nice as she was or was calculating it all along. I guess I’ll or anyone else will ever know what drives a person to do what they do. But in the end, was it worth it? Was she ever happy?

  24. Marty says:

    David Johansen played one of Ruth songs on his “Mansion of Fun” radio show today. I had never heard of her, so I looked her up and found your site. Very interesting… and well done!

  25. Dave says:

    THANK YOU for all the great information about Ruth. I noticed an interesting reference to Ruth in this 1977 interview with Dame Vera Lynn.

    THANKS again!

  26. Ken Scott says:

    Hello Cheryl, You deserve every congratulation for creating such a magnificient Web Site. Truly a great memorial to such a wonderful artist.
    When this shy young Australian boy first saw the Doris Day movie all those years ago he had not heard of Ruth and probably did not hear her sing until after 1960 . I can thank Australian Broadcasting Commission Radio for their program Sentmental Journey , wonderful tracks from the 20′s and 30′s presented by a couple of dedicated people. I get so much joy from Ruth singing with just a piano, and particularly with Rube Bloom at the keyboard.But all her work is great to me.
    Thank you , Kind regards, ken Scott………..

  27. Sarah says:

    Amazing website. Could anyone tell me if there is a book about her because I would love to learn more.

  28. Thanks for the sweet comment Rebecca!

    Craig, the movie was fictionalized – in a big way! And that’s fine, it made a fun 1950′s technocolor musical that way! But those who knew her well claim that Ruth was indeed happy, and enjoyed life. In fact, if you read around this site, everyone who has posted a story about meeting her, talks about how gracious and sweet and unassuming she was. In the 15 years this site has been on the web I’ve never once gotten a negative comment about her. So yeah, I think it’s safe to assume that she lived a good life and was happy!

    Thank you Marty for the comment!

    Unfortunately that video is no longer available Dave. Can you tell us what the reference was?

    You’re very kind Scott! Thank you!

    Hi Sarah! There is indeed a book, published in 2009. It’s called Ruth Etting: America’s Forgotten Sweetheart, by Kenneth Irwin and Charles O. Lloyd.

    Here’s the description on Amazon…

    “A comprehensive, full-length biography of Ruth Etting (1897-1978), this book details her rise to fame, her career as a Ziegfeld Girl and singer, her pioneering radio and film accomplishments, and her disastrous marriage to Moe (The Gimp) Snyder.”

  29. (Mr.) Dana Lohrey says:

    Do you still have a copy of the signed sheet music of Ruth Etting singing “I’m Alone Because I Love You?” If you do I would be interested in purchasing it from you. It is a great song. Your website is very nice. Thank you.

  30. Thom Olson says:

    I was listening to Doris Day’s love me or leave me on Spodify. I was inspired to see if they original source of the inspiration for the movie was in their collection. Amazing so, they have quite a large collection of Ruth’s lovely music. It was delightful… not only to hear the original but to understand why she captivated the world at the time.
    Very, very cool to hear her original music.

  31. Raquel Vazquez Rodríguez says:

    Congratulations for the website. ¡It’s amazing! What a marvellous project!

  32. Francisco Amaro says:

    Cheryl: Congratulations on you website. This is very fine. I only wanted lyrics of song: I never dreamt you ´d falling love with me. Again Congratulations. Best Regards. 05/16/2013

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