Few singers have had such interesting career and life trajectories as Ruth Copeland. For years, I’ve wanted to write about her and was both thrilled and disappointed when Mojo got there first in 2015 (prior to this, Ruth had vanished from public life). My new feature for Shindig covers a lot of stuff that wasn’t broached in the 2015 piece. In fact, I’d initially thought of a feature focussing exclusively on her overlooked 1976 RCA album, Take Me To Baltimore. As things progressed, the scope was gradually widened and it became a feature about her life both before, during and after showbiz. What a fascinating and talented woman. This year, her first two albums have come back to vinyl via Demon Records. Here’s the first page of the feature and here’s where to order Shindig 98 to read the whole thing.

3 comments

  1. Hi Charles,

    I was delighted to read your excellent interview with Ruth Copeland.

    As a journalist/reviewer/photographer for the now defunct magazine ‘Juke Blues’ (jukeblues.com; I’m listed as one of the contributors on the ‘Contact Us’ link), I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have interviewed Ruth, especially to learn more about her time with the Invictus set-up and, in particular, ‘The Silent Boatman’, one of my Top 3 tracks of all-time. Did you get to talk to Ruth about ‘The Silent Boatman’ in some depth by any chance?

    Recently, I saw Brian and Eddie Holland who were over in London for a talk at the British Library and a couple of radio interviews. They were here primarily to promote their book ‘Come And Get These Memories’. It was great to finally meet these two most talented and likeable individuals!

    Kind Regards,

    Ray Ellis

    1. Hi Ray – and many thanks for dropping me a line. Thank you, also, for the kind words about the Ruth Copeland interview. There was lots and lots of material in my discussion with Ruth for which there wasn’t room in the final piece and I’m sure we talked to some extent about ‘The Silent Boatman’. I will have to dig out my notes to be sure. I do plan to use the unused material for another article at some point. I must look up that book you mention; it sounds fascinating. I know very little about the Hollands, but I do have one or two of the Lamont Dozier solo albums. I’m glad to hear they’re likeable characters!

      Thanks again for your message.

      All best wishes,

      Charles

  2. Charles I think I got ahead of myself and lost my previous note before I posted. I would dearly love to get my contact info to Ruth Copeland. We shared a lovely friendship in the late seventies but lost touch in our travels before cell phones and internet. I have searched for her in recent years, about 25 ! Discovering that you have been in contact so recently as 2019 gives me great hope. If you would pass my email onto her I would be ever grateful.

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