Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tobin Matthews: "Ruby Duby Du" - The True Story

THE TRUE STORY OF "RUBY DUBY DU" -- In Chicago, in the late 1950's, on Michgan Ave., known as "Record Row", the band and I auditioned for every record company that would listen to us. Around that time, Paul Glass, owner of Chicago's Chief and USA records, heard the Charles Walcott version of "Ruby Duby Du", from the MGM film "Key Whitness" and he really liked it. Paul hired studio musicians to record the instrumental for the Chief label. My band and I had nothing to do with this recording. Paul released the record under his one-year-old son's first and middle names, Tobin Matthew, adding an "s" to Matthew. When the record began to move up the charts, the need for a real Tobin Matthews arose. Remembering our audition, the demo tapes I had submitted to him and his knowledge of our popularity in Chicago and around the Midwest area, I received a phone call. Paul and I had a meeting in his Chicago office, to discuss a recording contract, with a catch. He wanted me to take the stage name Tobin Matthews and have permission to use my photos for promotion. If I would do this, he promised to start recording me as a vocalist. Signing with a record company in those days was not easily achieved. After some discussion and a little persuasion, I agreed to sign. Paul was a man of his word. About two months later, I was recording vocals on his USA label and using the stage name "Tobin Matthews".

This is a publicity photo that my booking agency, Orchestras Inc., sent out to promote the band and I for bookings in clubs, shows and dances throughout the midwest. I was 20 years old. Man! How time flies.
This is a rare Tobin Matthews "Ruby Duby Du" picture sleeve on CUPOL out of Sweden.
This is a full page "Billboard" ad from "1960".


  1. Great story, thanks! I've always loved the song, so it's great to finally get the inside info. Jason

  2. Tobin, I'm your ex-brother in law. You were always a great guy. It was good to read this! -Rick