Episode 8: Mama Was a Star

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Chances are you’ve never heard of Ruth Wallis, one of the greatest singers, comedians, and performers of sexually suggestive lyrics in the postwar United States. Most of her catalogue remains on vinyl and historians have forgotten her. But from the 1940s until the early 1970s, Ruth Wallis was a bestselling performer and a mainstay at supper clubs and hotels. At a time when it was legally risky for entertainers to sing about sexuality for profit and pleasure, Ruth sold millions of records that used innuendo to playfully hint at a variety of straight and queer sexual pleasures.

Hosts and Creators: Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman.

Producers: Rebecca Davis, Saniya Lee Ghanoui and Devin McGeehan Muchmore. 

Intern: Jayne Swift.

Special thanks to Alan Pastman, Mitch Douglas and Rusty Warren for sharing their stories with us. Thank you to Jennifer Caplan and Lauren Sklaroff for sharing their historical expertise with us. Thank you to Alan Pastman for sharing his personal archive.

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