Record Cover of the Week

April 14, 2008

Ruth Wallis: Here’s Looking Up Your Hatch

Ruth Wallis was the queen of risqué novelty tunes in the 40s, 50s and 60s, selling hundreds of thousands of records without the benefit of radio play. She and her husband formed their own record label, Wallis Original Records, in 1952 because the major labels weren’t interested in artists who specialized in double entrendres. Wallis wrote all her own lyrics and music – more than 150 songs in total. In 1966 she started recording for King Records, who also purchased her back catalogue (King was also James Brown’s label). The songs on this record include The Admiral’s Daughter, De Gay Young Lad, Hawaiian Lei Song and Johnny Had A Yo Yo.

click to enlarge

I think Ruth’s records have aged better than similar “party” records because of their superior production values (she always hired excellent session players and arrangers), her talent and as a songwriter and singer, and her sense of fun, which is more impish than smutty.

The saucy chanteuse died shortly before Christmas last year.

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3 Responses to “Record Cover of the Week”

  1. pastman Says:

    “Boobs – Ruth Wallis’ Greatest Hits” and “Love is for the Birds” ,two CD re-issues of Ruth Wallis’classic music, are available through CDBaby and Amazon.com

  2. jamie Says:

    Your “record of the week” inserts are excellent, though I believe there is much more taboo, god-awful and tasteless album jackets out there to be uncovered and exposed!
    Just take for example the fine work of this Swedish website called Katastrofala Omslag http://katastrofalaomslag.blogspot.com. Fuelled by the endless supply of “dance bands” that make horrible clothing and setup choices, from the 60s up to today, this website is a plethora of Catastrophic Covers.

  3. swankola Says:

    That Swedish site is fantastic, jamie, thanks for the link. The Record Cover of the Week is selected from the records I bought that week, so sometimes they’re not all that exciting or outré or whatever. Check out my website for more record covers.


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