Black Oak Arkansas, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, Midnight, Reg Isidore, Bruce Waibel
January 14, 1995 (age 45), Toledo, Ohio, United States
November 30, 1949 (aged 45), Toledo, Ohio
Grey star ruby starr you never learn 1981
Ruby Starr, born Constance Henrietta Mierzwiak in Toledo, Ohio (November 30, 1949 - January 14, 1995), was a rock singer and recording artist who attained national prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, most notably for her work with Black Oak Arkansas.
- Grey star ruby starr you never learn 1981
- Ruby starr that s it
- Childhood and early career
- Recording artist
- Las Vegas period
- With Black Oak Arkansas
Ruby starr that s it
Childhood and early career
Known as "Connie" to her family, Starr began performing at the age of nine, singing country music under the stage name Connie Little. Her early bands included Connie and the Blu-Beats, The Downtowners and the Blue Grange Ramblers.
She joined the band Ruby Jones in 1969. In 1971 they were signed to Curtom Records and recorded their first album, Ruby Jones. Shortly after that album's release, Black Oak Arkansas lead vocalist Jim "Dandy" Mangrum was playing at the Davenport, Iowa fairgrounds and saw Starr singing in a Bettendorf, Iowa, club and convinced her to join his band. At this point she assumed the stage name of Ruby Starr.
Starr toured with Black Oak Arkansas for several years at the height of their success. She was featured in their 1973 Top 30 single "Jim Dandy". In 1974, she began touring on her own again as Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost (members: Gary Levin, Marius Penczner, David Mayo and Joel Williams) and released an eponymous album in 1975, on Capitol Records. Her second album, Scene Stealer, also on Capitol Records, was released in 1976. During this time she continued to open for Black Oak Arkansas and other acts such as Black Sabbath and Edgar Winter. Starr also toured with Blackfoot from 1977 to 1978. Her third and last album for Capitol, Smoky Places, was released in 1977.
By the late 1970s, Starr had made Milwaukee her home town and was a popular act in clubs in the region. By the early 1980s, Starr had formed a new band called "Grey Star" by joining with a band that performed in and around Mayville, Wisconsin called "Lucy Grey", featuring Dave "Mud Slide" Gruenewaldt on the drums. They issued several recordings which included 1981's Grey Star and 1983's Telephone Sex. Starr formed her final road band, "Henrietta Kahn", in the late 1980s.
Las Vegas period
In the early 1990s, Starr quit the road and moved to Las Vegas, playing at casino/hotels on the Strip such as the Riviera and the Stardust as well as local clubs. During this period, The Ruby Star Band also performed as the opening act for Kansas (band), The Fabulous Thunderbirds and April Wine. Shortly after she was chosen to perform in the Country Legends show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, she learned she had cancer.
After being diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor, Starr returned home to her family in Toledo where she died at age 45. After her death, several archival releases that featured Starr were issued, including the live Black Oak Arkansas recording, Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour 1976, and a reissue of Ruby Jones's debut album, retitled as Stone Junkie. The song "Ruby", by Raging Slab, is in memory of her.