Ruslanova, Lidiia Andreevna
Born Oct. 14 (27), 1900, in the village of Chernavka, in what is now Saratov Oblast; died Sept. 21, 1973, in Moscow. Soviet estrada (variety stage) contralto. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1942).
Ruslanova studied voice with the singer and teacher M. E. Medvedev in Saratov and made her professional debut in 1917. During the Civil War (1918–20) she entertained Red Army soldiers with Russian folk songs. Ruslanova debuted as an estrada singer in 1923 in Rostov-on-Don. She sang with the theater bureau of the Central House of the Red Army from 1925 to 1932, with the musical estrada administration of the State Association of Music, Estrada, and Circus Enterprises from 1933 to 1948, and with the All-Union Concert Tour Association beginning in 1953.
Ruslanova’s repertoire primarily included Russian folk songs and songs by Soviet composers. She introduced Aleksandrov’s adaptation of the “Far East Partisan Song” (“Over valleys and hills …”) and Blanter’s songs “The Partisan Zhelezniak” and “The Enemies Have Burnt My Hut.”