Ruth Lowe (m Cohen, m Sandler). Songwriter, pianist, b Toronto, of US-Canadian parents, 12 Aug 1914, naturalized US 1937, naturalized Canadian 1942, d Toronto 4 Jan 1981. After living in her early teens in California, she became a songplugger, playing piano in Toronto music stores at 16, promoting the sale of sheet music. With Sair Lee she performed in a two-piano team in Toronto nightclubs, and under the name Nancy Lee she worked in 1933 with the singer George Taggart on radio station CKNC. She was staff pianist with CKLC; sang with The Shadows, a female vocal trio, on CKNC; and performed with Red Hickey's dance band before joining Ina Ray Hutton's all-girl orchestra 1935-7 in the USA. She was pianist 1937-9 with the publishers Bregman, Vocco, and Conn in Chicago.
Lowe returned in 1939 to Toronto, where she was an accompanist on CBL and wrote her first hit song, I'll Never Smile Again. Collaborating on a number of other songs, she wrote the music for "Too Beautiful to Last" (Feist 1940) and the lyrics for "Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day)" (Barton Music 1942), which was for many years Frank Sinatra's closing theme song. The latter song has also been recorded by Perry Como and Barry Manilow, and was sung by Gisèle MacKenzie on CBC Radio in 1950.
Lowe retired from performance in the early 1940s but continued to compose. The musical Ruthie, based on Lowe's life and employing several of her songs, was staged by Dinah Christie and produced in 1990 by the Smile Theatre Company of Toronto. The songwriter's story is chronicled in the video documentary I'll Never Smile Again: The Ruth Lowe Story (Great North Productions Inc., 2001), which was broadcast as part of the television series The Canadians.