Ruth Etting

Singer + Vaudevillian + Musical Theatre Performer and Film Actress
Born Nov 23, 1897

Ruth Etting was an American singing star and actress of the 1920s and 1930s, who had over 60 hit recordings and worked in stage, radio, and film. Her signature tunes were "Shine On Harvest Moon", "Ten Cents a Dance", and "Love Me or Leave Me". Her other popular recordings included "Button Up Your Overcoat", "Mean to Me", "Exactly Like You", and "Shaking the Blues Away".… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ruth Etting.


1897 Birth Etting was born in David City, Nebraska in 1897 to Alfred, a banker, and Winifred (née Kleinhan) Etting. … Read More


1922 24 Years Old Etting became a featured vocalist at the nightclub, and married gangster Martin "Moe the Gimp" Snyder on July 17, 1922 in Crown Point, Indiana. … Read More
1927 29 Years Old She made her Broadway debut in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. … Read More


1929 31 Years Old In Hollywood, Etting made a long series of movie shorts between 1929 and 1936, and three feature movies in 1933 and 1934. … Read More
1931 33 Years Old She remained at Columbia through June 1931, when she split her recording between ARC (Banner, Perfect, Romeo, Oriole, etc.) and Columbia through March 1933.
1934 36 Years Old Etting then signed with Brunswick and remained there until May 1934, when she re-signed with Columbia through July 1935.
1936 38 Years Old 1 More Event
After a solitary Brunswick session in March 1936, she signed with the British label Rex and recorded two sessions in August and September, 1936.
1937 39 Years Old 1 More Event
It is not clear why she did not go through with her announced plans, but she issued a second statement regarding retirement after filing for divorce from Snyder in November 1937. … Read More


Etting fell in love with her pianist, Myrl Alderman, who was separated from his wife. In January 1938, she began receiving threatening telephone calls from Snyder, who initially claimed Etting withheld assets from him when the divorce settlement was made. … Read More
1947 49 Years Old 1 More Event
The scandal of the sensational trial in Los Angeles effectively ended Etting's career, though she briefly had a radio show on WHN in 1947.


1955 57 Years Old 1 More Event
Her life was the basis for the fictionalized 1955 film, Love Me or Leave Me, which starred Doris Day (as Etting), James Cagney (as Snyder) and Cameron Mitchell (as Alderman).


1966 68 Years Old Etting remained married to Myrl Alderman until his death on November 28, 1966; he was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs.
1978 81 Years Old Ruth Etting died in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1978, aged 81. … Read More
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