Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Songs in the Key of Ruby

Grades are in. Let's dance!

To honor the official conclusion of the Semester That Would Not Die (and Is, In Some Tedious Yet Important Respects, Still. Not. Over), we do hereby inaugurate a new series dedicated to 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! We'll make our way through as many as we can before, you know, we forget we launched the project and turn to our usual summer subjects of food, movies, and travel.

"Rock 'n Roll Ruby" is a little ditty written by Mr. Johnny Cash in 1955 and recorded by Warren Smith in 1956. (Read the story about Cash handing the song off to Smith and the band, The Snearly Ranch Boys, at the Cotton Club in West Memphis, AR, here.) We especially like this song because in this instance Ruby is not a slut or a siren but the source of a prodigious energy that captivates the crowd in the juke joint and "satisfies [the] soul" of her male companion. She can't not dance, and once she starts her joyous rockin', we scream for more as a way of tapping into those vital energies in our own uptight selves. Ah, sweet Ruby, how my soul needs what you reach in me!

We'll pause here for 2:54 to give you a chance to brighten up your Tuesday morning with some toe-tapping rockabilly fun. Ready? Set? Click!

Groovy, yes? For purposes of comparison, take a listen to Cash's stripped down, country version, which we also quite like:

Rock out, little darlings, and, whatever you've got to do today, here's hoping it satisfies your soul.


  1. dog-eared book1:51 PM EDT

    So did you decide "Ruby Tuesday" was too obvious a title for this post? Or perhaps we'll get a different song every Tuesday, calendrical coincidence implied?

    Rock on, Roxie's World! Glad you're out there on the toobz.

  2. "Ruby Tuesday" was the first song we sang to the Girl.. Other songs have just been added to the rotation, and like the Girl in RT almost every R 'cept Rock & Roll Ruby is a heartbreaker. I like your suggestion of a song every Tuesday, Dog-Eared Book!

    Listen up, Rox!

  3. I like the Cash version more, because it's got a little hint of syncopation. The other one is played so straight, listening to it makes me feel like I have a fucken stick up my butt.

  4. @dog-eared book: Yeah, I think we embedded the vid for "Ruby Tuesday" on our very first Ruby post, though we did consider it for the title here. My typist ruled it out on account of she's convinced we won't remember to do all the Ruby music posts on Tuesdays. She's probably right.

    @CPP: Yep, we like the clean Cash version, too, though the other does make us want to dance. We ran across a Jerry Lee Lewis version that would probably annoy your posterior even more. It's super-duper straight -- Lots o' rocka, very little 'billy.

  5. "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby - do ya love me?/Ruby, Ruby, Ruby - do ya care?"

  6. Would not have pegged you for a Bobby Sherman fan, TR. I woulda figured you were a Partridge Family kinda gal -- The cool outfits, David Cassidy's hair, Susan Dey's dreamy eyes. What's not for a dyke to love? ;-)

    Truly, [Ruby], will you still be there?

  7. Several of my friends and I used to belt this out under our history teacher's window in prep school during junior year.

    I now blush to think of it. And yes, had I gone to sleep and woken up David Cassidy, my life would have been complete and I never would have gone on to get a Ph. D. in history.


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