Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ruth Bowen, a pioneering booking agent dead at 84

Ruth Bowen, founder of The Bowen Agency Ltd., passed away in New York City on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 after battling a brain tumor.
Ruth Bowen, a pioneering booking agent who represented many of the nation's top African-American performers, died Tuesday after a long battle with a brain tumor. She was 84.

Over more than six decades, Bowen guided the careers of such entertainment luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr. and her first husband, William (Billy) Bowen, one of the original Ink Spots.

Thanks to her husband's introduction, Bowen went on to manage the career of Dinah Washington, the "Queen of the Blues." But Washington first told Bowen she had to obtain her booking license, which she did in 1959 with the help of attorney and future New York City Mayor David Dinkins.

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Source: NY Daily News

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