Caribbean born Ruby grew up in South London four sisters, all destined for musical careers much due to their mother’s churchgoing & gospel influence.
Ruby established a professional career soon after leaving school when she signed to Philips Record Label (Fontana) recording her first two acclaimed singles both covers “Getting Mighty Crowded” and “Don’t play that song”. Later she signed to Mickey Most’s RAK label.
“a tonal quality like dark blue velvet or maybe more purple ? Truly rich and expensive”
While still pursuing that ‘illusive’ hit record with the UK’s first disco megamix producer Biddu, Ruby was invited to join that elite circle of London session singers with the result that Ruby’s ‘Top of the Pops’ appearances number similarly to that of most megastars.
On records, tours & TV / Video Ruby has appeared with : –
Paul McCartney, George Michael, Rod Stewart, Tears for Fears, Boy George, Erasure, Spandau Ballet, James Last, Jesse Norman, Allison Moyet, Blancmange, Aztec Camera, Cilla Black, Elkie Brooks, Arrow, Laurel Aitken
. . . . . to name but a few !
At Kenny Lynch’s request Ruby formed vocal group ‘Midnight’ to represent the UK in the ’78 Eurovision song contest. The song failed to win but CBS/Sony offered them a contract.
With their name changed to RITZ , Ruby with group members Tony Jackson ( now with RAGE ) Jimmy Chambers (now London Beat) & Kofi ( Starlight Express ) embarked on their first album & single – a dancebeat version of Little Eva’s “Locomotion” which succeeded as
#1 single in New Zealand & France ,
Top five in Australia, Top ten Japan & Canada,
Top 30 UK, Germany & most European territories.
RITZ guested singing live for a full 7 weeks on the prime-time “Cannon & Ball” TV series toured Australia, Canada & Japan and released a further two singles before disbanding due to management problems. This Aussie success of the “Locomotion” led Ruby to apply for residency down-under she loved Australia so much and she is now poised for the ‘operation’ to become a complete Australian citizen. Despite occasional tours she was better established in the UK and so much of her time she spent going back and forth to Europe.
Ruby’s little sisters were now all grown up … Sylvia (Mason-James) had a chart hit on her own and Vicki ( St. James) was working in sessions too. Stiff Records approached the sisters to form the SAPPHIRES with Peter Collins as producer. Just when the act was getting established Stiff went bankrupt. Ruby & sisters returned to the session scene. Sylvia is now working with Pet Shop Boys and Vicki with D-Influence.
Ruby teamed up with Shirley Lewis and recorded as DECOY for Hi NRG label Challenge.
They joined Spandau Ballet as their backing singers and as Decoy in their own right for Spandau’s World Tour culminating in appearing at the famous Live Aid Concert – on worldwide satellite TV and meeting Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust Concert, Edinburgh . Then Shirley married Luke Goss of ‘Bros’ and Decoy dissolved.
Then came the offer for Ruby to join the James Last singers. Herr Last, the renown ‘king’ of orchestral MOR, has retained and featured Ruby with his orchestra for many years on all their extensive international tours, TVs and bi-annual albums ( including shows with Richard Clayderman ) up to the present day.
“Ruby James’ performance possesses a warmth and sophistication rare these days. Her soulful delivery seems personally directed to you, not an audience of three thousand – seeing her even for the first time feels more like meeting up with a close friend “
translated from DER WELT, May 1993
Alongside her commitments to the J.L.O. Ruby steadily built a following on the UK cabaret club circuit around London & the Home counties. At 70 James Last is now retiring which has prompted Ruby to return permanently to Sydney. Her ‘ High Priestess of PARTEE ‘ show ran for 8 months on friday nights at the ALBURY Cabaret Bar on Oxford St. Her reintroduction to NSW has led to engagements at corporate functions, private parties, RSL & cabaret evenings and even plans to record original material in the near future.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS of P A R T Y . . . . . . . . . .
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CONTACT : tel. (02) 9452 1966 Mobile:- 0415 174 324