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This prose snapshot of songbird Ruth Etting might fairly be said to be a doctored “photo”—or at the very least retouched. For this profile, from the April 1935 issue of Popular Songs, makes no mention of Martin “Moe the Gimp” Snyder, a gangster to whom young Ruth was wed in 1922 and who had a major impact on her career.
After achieving huge success in radio, Broadway, recordings, and movies, Etting divorced Snyder in 1937, having fallen in love with her pianist, Myrl Alderman, who was nearly ten years her junior.
That old saying “Heaven has no fury like a mobster scorned” applies here, as Snyder soon plugged Alderman with a bullet, spending a year in jail before being released on appeal.
The surrounding scandal seems to have pulled the plug on Etting’s career, alas, though she would go on to marry Alderman and, one hopes, live happily ever after.