Sunday Music – The Admiral’s Daughter

Posted on Sun 05/29/2011 by

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Today’s music video is The Admiral’s Daughter and this is a song from the American entertainer Ruth Wallis.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Ruth Wallis – Topic

Ruth Wallis

I first remember hearing this song as a young boy, probably in the late 50’s, and then again in the early 60’s. My Dad would (very) occasionally get it out and play it, and then carefully hide it back in the cupboard. When I found this song the other day, it was the first time I had heard the song since that odd occasion as a young boy. After playing it, Dad would mention to me not to tell anyone we had the record at home, and to not even to sing it aloud, which was difficult, because it really is quite a catchy song.

The problem with the song was that it was banned from airplay on any radio station here in Australia, and in fact, it was not even able to be sold in record shops.

My Dad had 10 of Ruth Wallis’ disks, and I even think that they were 78’s.

In this day and age when virtually anything can get recorded, there is still some stuff that does not get airplay, but nothing is really banned any more, because they just put a label on the CD.

Foul language gets put onto songs, and even some of them get occasional airplay these days, so when you hear this, you’ll probably wonder what the fuss is all about.

Ruth Wallis started out as a singer with bands before the Second World War, and even sang a stint with Benny Goodman, but he mentioned that he wanted a vocalist, and he thought of Ruth as a soloist, which was probably a compliment at that time.

Ruth did sing with large bands, but gained fame after the War and into the 50’s as a lounge and club singer. She would occasionally sing one of her early songs full of those obvious double entendres, and these became popular as fans flocked to the clubs she appeared at.

In fact, she became quite a celebrated singer, even though none of her songs received airplay in the U.S.

She wrote all her own songs, and would combine her solo ‘stand up’ singing with sitting at the piano, and playing and singing her songs.

As you might imagine, she had trouble finding a record company to press her singles, so, problem solved, she set up her own record company, and with her husband, and her manager, she pressed her own singles.

They sold well, even without radio airplay.

As risque as the songs may seem, she always had a large backing band playing with her, and sometimes even an orchestra. Many of the ‘big names’ actually worked ‘sessions’ with Ruth, and in fact The Ray Charles Singers recorded backing for Ruth Wallis.

Ruth was also quite popular in Australia, and made seven tours here, where she also played to packed lounges and clubs.

On one tour, when she arrived here by plane, she was taken aside after disembarking by Customs officials at the airport. She was questioned for more than hour, and all her records were confiscated and destroyed, and there was even some talk of her not even being allowed into the Country.

As you might imagine, something like this could prove to be a setback, which authorities thought was going to be the end result of this, but in fact the opposite happened, and all her shows were sold out affairs. This led to those further many tours of Australia, but her songs were still banned from airplay, and also banned from sale.

However, there was a rumour that if you had a friend of a friend who had connections, you could probably get hold of some of her recorded songs, and the ones my Dad had were probably these, and as the story goes they were in plain brown wrappers.

This song, ‘The Admiral’s Daughter’ was one of four spin off songs from her signature song, ‘The Dinghy Song’, one of her records that sold in excess of a quarter of a million records, which is not too bad, considering she couldn’t get airplay anywhere.

Sadly, Ruth Wallis is no longer with us now, having passed in 2007, reaching the fine age of 87. She lived happily all her life with her husband and had children and grandchildren, so singing risque songs in her case did not lead to a dissolute life.

These are songs you will never hear anywhere now, and there is something about songs like these that have that little extra something that today’s songs that are slightly off colour do not have.

You have to understand what she is really singing about in your own mind. It’s not as blatant as today’s songs are.

On top of that, it actually is quite a catchy song, and she was quite pleasing to the eye as well.

For more information on Ruth Wallis, see this link. (pdf document)

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Posted in: Music, Videos