Sep 03

RUBY MURRAY – “Softly, Softly”

Popular10 comments • 2,577 views

#29, 18th February 1955

Ruby’s real contribution to British pop culture is as rhyming slang for the national dish, ironic when you hear this spiceless outing, arranged as primly as it is sung. Murray’s pert and precise enunciation helps kill off a pleasant but treacly tune: her slightly odd accent the only mild interest in a modest two minutes.



  1. 1
    rosie on 26 May 2008 #

    This is another one I first heard in a version by Kathy Kirby, I think. I haven’t anything else to say. It’s pleasant but unexciting and it’s hard to imagine it with extra chilli.

  2. 2
    wichita lineman on 31 May 2008 #

    Mild, comforting, a chicken korma of a single. Ruby’s incredible 1955 (7 Top 10 hits, 85 weeks in the chart) is hard to explain – no previous form, and only three lesser hits and one week in the Top 10 afterwards. Five hits in the Top 20 in March ’55… she could’ve bigger than the Beatles. Wait a minute, she was!

    The following year this Northern Irish superstar made the logical step up to the silver screen, when she starred with Dennis Price and Frankie Howerd in A Touch of the Sun. Anyone seen it?

    Another singer who hit the bottle, unfortunately.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Again, so many television apperances, all missing;

    COMEDY BANDBOX: with Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd, Ruby Murray and Bernard Burgess, Charlie Cairoli, Joe Church, Ray Fell, Lynton Boys (1963)

    THE GOLDEN SHOT: with Bob Monkhouse, Ronnie Carroll, Ruby Murray (1968)

    SATURDAY BANDBOX: with Norman Evans, Richard Hearne, Ken Platt, Ruby Murray, Bernard Burgess, Johnny More (1962)

    SATURDAY SHOWTIME: Ruby Murray (1956)

    SIX-FIVE SPECIAL: with The Six-Five Dates, Ruby Murray, Ronnie Carroll, Russ Conway, Audrey Jeans, Vince Eager, Craig Douglas, Frank Cook, Billy Raymond, The Tracy Sisters (1958)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with The London Palladium Girls, Bruce Forsyth, The London Palladium Orchestra, Ruby Murray, Jewel & Warriss, Terry Thomas, Alma Cogan, Leslie Mitchell, Howard Jones and Reg Arnold (1955)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with The London Palladium Girls, The London Palladium Orchestra, Bruce Forsyth, The Daily Mirror Disc Festival, Max Bygraves, Eddie Calvert, Alma Cogan, Ted Heath and his Music, Ruby Murray, Joan Regan (1955)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with Bruce Forsyth, The Daily Mirror Disc Festival, Winifred Atwell, Eddie Calvert, Alma Cogan, Lonnie Donegan With His Skiffle Group, Ted Heath, Ronnie Hilton, Ruby Murray, Anne Shelton (1956)

    Two later programmes survive, though;

    RUSSELL HARTY PLUS: with Ruby Murray, Frankie Howerd, Sheila Graham (1973)

    WOGAN: with Derek Bell, Dream Academy, Roley McIntyre, Clare Maxwell Hudson, Ruby Murray (1985)

  4. 4
    Meliaeroliker on 31 Mar 2009 #

    А можно чутка поподробнее?

  5. 5
    dyemnicaacene on 1 Apr 2009 #

    Второйнах XD

  6. 6
    Paulito on 6 Oct 2009 #

    I don’t agree with the assessment of Ruby’s vocal as “prim”. On the contrary, I think her performance here is rather sensual by the mannered standards of the era. The arrangement is of its time (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing); but her delivery, while demure, has genuine feeling – listen to the song again and you’ll note some breathy phrasing as well as a slightly tremulous and hesitant quality that nicely captures the vulnerability of a young girl yielding to passion for the first time.

  7. 7
    Eli on 22 Dec 2010 #

    An interesting interpretation there, Paulito – next time I listen, I’ll try to think of that!

    “The shy young girl from Belfast” tagline springs to mind; her voice here has that quality to it. I think she was the youngest female singer to top the UK charts in the 50s – she was only 19 when this was #1. As a certain Mr Cowell might say, she had the ‘likeability factor’. Not her best record by any means, but it symbolises the 50s (or how we think of it?) remarkably well.

    Funnily enough, Ruby herself cut a beat version ten years later (the first #1 we can say that for)! It’s a bit more of a Tikka Masala than the original Korma…

  8. 8
    wichita lineman on 29 May 2011 #

    On the turntable now… her 1960 album ‘Ruby’. There’s something of things slipping through her fingers on every song. I think you can hear this on Softly Softly, which Paulito alludes to. You root for her in the way you’d root for Sandie Shaw a few years on. She barely makes it through Love’s Old Sweet Song; it’s almost painful to listen to. Ruby’s soft, strange quiver really draws you in, and the overbearing male bv’s only make her sound all the more the naif.

  9. 9
    David Wattam on 6 Apr 2012 #

    I aggree with Paulo. She won my heart with Softly Softly. I was 5 years younger (14). She sounded young, sweet and vulnerable.

  10. 10
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    I’ll go one point higher than Tom here, so a 5/10.

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