With March representing Women’s History Month, you’d think this would present a perfect opportunity for Canada’s media outlets to leap on the story of Ruth Lowe, a genuine home-grown heroine. I mean, we’re talking one of the first liberated females to pave the way for working in a man's world while never letting her gender, nor her attractive good looks, get in the way of her outstanding talent. She was also one of the 20th century's most enduring musical talents, having written the famous song “I’ll Never Smile Again”, the tune that dynamited Frank Sinatra's career into the stratosphere in 1940. She followed this up by writing Sinatra’s theme song, “Put Your Dreams Away” and about 50 others for Broadway and Hollywood.
Don’t you think a woman with that kind of renown might rate some interest in Women’s History Month?
Well, not in Canada, apparently. No ma’am, not in Ruth’s own home and native land. The CBC has virtually ignored this story, despite the CBC’s significant connection to Ruth’s signature song being released in the first place (Shelagh Rogers, who’s CBC show talks about Canadian books, cannot find time for this great story but she does have time to interview an Egyptian guy talking about his vegan cookbook. Yeah, right!). The Toronto Star has totally disregarded Ruth. So has the National Post. Chatelaine – billing itself as “providing leading-edge insights into women’s foremost concerns: health, food, decor, women’s issues, work, style and beauty” – has chosen to pay no attention.
Do we really have so many heroes in Canada that we should disregard an amazing woman like Ruth Lowe?
The public is fascinated (although what do they know, right?). A reader says about “Until I Smile At You”, the new (and only) book written about Ruth Lowe (untilismileatyou.com): “Story about a little known Canadian who deserves more recognition. I very much enjoyed the story and the history involved about a Woman from Toronto who even though she mingled with the rich and famous never forgot where she came from. She chose to leave it behind to come home and become a wife and mother. She sounds like the kind of person who would enhance the lives she touched. I wish I had known her.”
Another reader adds, “What a fabulous story about a truly amazing woman.” And a third says, “A sweetly sentimental look at the life of Ruth Lowe, illustrating the contrasting sides of this Canadian composer's life. At once an artist rubbing elbows with showbiz glitterati, she was also a woman who simply wanted love and family.”
OK, do I have an ax to grind here? Sure, I’m the guy who wrote the book about Ms. Lowe along with her son Tom Sandler. Yet I wrote it not for my own grandeur, but to give this remarkable lady the renown she is due. I mean, look at what the U.S. does for Ruth Lowe:
I’m a proud Canadian. But not this month. Not when a genuine heroine is ignored in her own country during Women’s History Month.
For shame, Canada’s media.
But here’s the good news: you’ve got a week to make amends. Women’s History Month lasts until March 31. That’s seven days from now… seven days when you can tell the world about our national heroine. That is, if it’s important at all.