Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

Or, Songs in the Key of Ruby, Part Deux: Dream on Me Edition

Last week, we launched a series of posts aimed at "exploring the colorful cultural heritage of the new dog in Roxie's World, the adorable Ms. Ruby, whose name, with its sassy, slutty connotations, has figured into many a crooner's tune. Really -- Lots of them!"

Today, we offer the second installment in the series with a smackdown between the glorious Ray Charles and the (to us) obscure Uncle Walt's Band on the mellifluous "Ruby," the theme from a 1952 film, Ruby Gentry, starring Charlton Heston and Jennifer Jones. The song was composed by Heinz Roemheld, with lyrics by Mitchell Parish. It's a dreamy, haunting sort of song that makes you want to take a pretty woman by the hand and lead her out onto the dance floor for some suave cheek-to-cheek action while a tuxedo-clad waiter brings a couple of fresh dry martinis to your little round table. That is definitely the vibe conjured by Charles' smooth-as-silk version:

Uncle Walt's Band plays it a little more down-homey, but their take on the song is also easy on the ears. It'll make you want to take a pretty woman by the hand and lead her out onto the dance floor while some dude in a tee-shirt brings a couple of longnecks and some fresh peanuts to your table:

Which do you prefer, music lovers? And what are your all-time favorite songs or other pop-cultural tributes to critters named Ruby? It's the first day of summer school, and the new kid in Roxie's World has a lot to learn. Help us teach the young dog some new tricks about herself!

(Many thanks to the devoted but previously unknown reader who de-lurked to send us the Uncle Walt's Band version of "Ruby." We appreciate your dedication and your musical taste. And the Texans among us are delighted to discover a hippy band that recorded a live album at Austin's fabulous Waterloo Ice House. Thanks for reading -- and writing!)


  1. How can I possibly choose between the incomparable Ray Charles and that wonderful Uncle Walt's Band from the magnificent Austin--and Waterloo Ice House? I'm wanting me a cheeseburger with some homemade fries. Oh yeah. . .so I vote for both, so now the score is 1-1.

    FAB post, Rox!

  2. Hi Roxie and glad you like the fabulous Uncle Walt: Walter Hyatt, Deschamps Hood, and David Ball. Uncle Walt died in the plane crash over Florida where the oxygen bottles ignited and Champ passed a few years later with cancer. David Ball is now a pretty boy country sanger. I myself am sittin' in the Houston airport after a short hop from Tyler. En route to Harrisb
    urg, PA, exiled from my home state. Didn't realize I was lurking, just never had anything to add.

  3. Having downed french burger with my french fries, I vote Uncle Walt (while nonetheless remaining partial to Lucy songs, especially the not-so-well-known-but-always-excellent "Lucy in the Bed with Michael" (Lennon with Duquette assist).

    Hugs to all! xo

  4. Uncle Walt's Band seems to have a slight edge in voting so far, though burgers and fries are garnering surprising levels of support as well.

    Sorry to hear that Uncle Walt died, as too many great singers have, in a plane crash. Hope you made it safely home from the Lone Star state today, ca78john. We are pleased to have your active input -- That's all we meant by de-lurking. We like hearing a new bark or woof every now and again is all.

    Meanwhile, the next smackdown could involve banjos and ukuleles. Stay tuned!

  5. OH, my goodness. Uncle Walt's Band, hands down. That particular sound pushes all kinds of good buttons for me....only to be improved by a little bit of good fiddle playing in the mix.

  6. I'm also for Uncle Walt's Band.

    Another Ruby song (good for light slamdancing with your beloved while not putting down your Pabst Blue Ribbons):

  7. Reckon I shoulda known the hippies and PBR would win with the crowd that hangs out here. Smart bunch of critters, but decidedly down-scale.

    We're one step ahead of you on the Kaiser Chiefs, Hunter -- They are in the queue for the next smackdown. :-) Thanks for the suggestion, though!


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