I know I know. I've blogged about her before. In fact, she first appeared on dstp some 4 years ago! Ridiculous I know! How long has this place been open for business? Anyway, in that time I've come to meet and see the wonderful singer-burlesque pop princess Polly Rae. She did a sell-out show in Feb earlier this year no less. With amazing reports and well-deserved reviews. The two Minogues came to see the show. As did the legend Boy George. It was fucking fantastic. Anyway, sidetracked! Polly Rae is currently applying foundation most probably and researching what the most glamorous feathers to wear for her big return to stage which will be very soon no doubt. In the meantime...I was thinking Polly could do a tribute to Ruth Wallis.

The original firebrand of the 1950s. As I said back then, Ruth Ruth Wallis is the Joan Rivers of pop music. She was banned in the 50's for singing about such stuff as homosexuality, floppy willys and wifeswapping. Her hits 'Queer Things' and 'He'd Rather Be A Girl' are as funny yet relevant today as they were back then. They reveal history is nothing but an idiom.

Pre-empting the world of Chantelles, Ruth Wallis interrupts the given image presented by the first "gossip celebrity": the troubled Marilyn Monroe by reorganising certain melodies and filling in the gaps with hardcore satirical lyrics. Her material was so close to the edge, Ruth was prevented from entering Australia. Their loss.

As Chuck Miller stated Ruth Wallis' songs weren't filthy or dirty. They were, however, wry observances of things that suburban America wasn't ready to discuss - things like cross-dressing...

Her lyrics caused so much controversy the FBI begun to build a case against her that would eventually lead to her being portrayed as a Communist spy. These plans never came forward but it just goes to show that Eminem and his ilk really are nothing new. Or rather, in the genealogy of pop music, Ruth stands over Madonna and that aforementioned rapper as the true original fire starter.



Alan said...

Most people are unaware that Ruth composed and sang on albums dedicated to Calypso ("Saucy Calypso") and Jazz ("Love is for the Birds") as well as her risque cabaret music.

Paul said...

Love Ruth. Boobs is brilliant and still a drag classic in Gran Canaria (ditto Queer Things)... I do listen to her surprisingly often :)