Saturday, November 5, 2022

Ruby Jones - Stone Junkie (1971 us, funky blues rock vibes, 2000 edition)

It was January 14th of 1995 that the world lost a star, Ruby Starr.  After a long battle with the cancer that was ravaging her lungs and body, the   45-year-old red-haired singer sang her last song, a sad song that left many in tears.  Those who knew this young Sylvania woman and knew her talents, also knew she was too young to die, but life if not always easy.  And life doesn’t always follow the script we’d like.  It didn’t for Ruby.  

Ruby Starr 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 partying after a concert in Evansville, Indiana at a club called the Golden Record, where she was performing. He asked her on the spot to join the band. At this point she assumed the stage name of Ruby Starr.

A woman who whose real name was Constance  Helen Mierzwiak and who lived her early life in the Toledo suburb of Sylvania and the last 20 years of her life in the suburbs of fame.  Constance Mierzwiak nurtured her passion for singing from the time she was in grade school, performing as Connie Little.   A little girl who could belt out songs with a big voice.  In those very early years, Toledo area audiences might have remembered her as  Connie and the Blu-Beats, or performing with country groups known as the Downtowners or the Blue Grange Ramblers.   

She also played several times atop a flat-bed truck in the parking lot of the Colony Shopping  Center, or according to her mother, she took the make-shift sages at concession stands at local drive in theaters in Toledo to entertain the movie goers.  At that time, Connie was still young, and singing the sweet ballads of Brenda Lee and Dusty Springfield,  but then as she grew into her teen years, the pretty young Connie,  with a huge crown of afro-red hair, found rock and roll, a new voice and a new adventure.
The Toledo Gazette, January 15, 2014
1. 99,000 Times (Frank C. Smith) - 5:10
2. Looking Out At Tomorrow (David McDowell) - 5:07
3. 46th Street (Frank C. Smith) - 2:44
4. Have No Witness (Frank C. Smith) - 5:17
5. Freely Away (Frank C. Smith) - 3:14
6. Oh Boy (Frank C. Smith) - 3:00
7. Tight Rope (Genya Ravan, Leon Rix) - 3:05
8. Bicycle Built For Everyone (Frank C. Smith) - 2:06
9. Stone Junkie (Curtis Mayfield) - 3:10
10.You Better Run (Eddie Brigati, Felix Cavaliere) - 2:37
Bonus Track 10
*Ruby Jones - Vocals
*Frank C. Smith  
*Nick Mousoulias  
*Peter Mousoulias