Babe Ruth are a rock music group, primarily active through the 1970s, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.
Their characteristically ‘heavy’ sound is marked by powerful vocals from Janita (Jenny) Haan and full arrangements by Alan Shacklock. They are acknowledged as having more commercial success in North America than in their home country.
A predecessor of the group, called Shacklock after guitarist Alan Shacklock, was formed in 1970. Members included Janita Haan and Dave Hewitt, with Dave Punshon and Dick Powell later joining. The first release was their single “Wells Fargo”; their first album, First Base, went gold in Canada. In 1973, Ed Spevock replaced Powell and Chris Holmes replaced Punshon on the second album. In 1975, Steve Gurl, keyboardist from Glenn Cornick‘s Wild Turkey replaced Holmes for the third album. The same year, Shacklock left the band to become a record producer and Bernie Marsden (Wild Turkey) joined the team for the fourth album. After this, Haan and Hewitt left.
Though no original member remained, the group incorporated Ellie Hope and Ray Knott for the fifth album in 1976. Shortly before Babe Ruth disbanded, they were joined by the young 17-year-old Birmingham born Simon Lambeth who made a few appearances on their last tour. Marsden moved on to join Whitesnake and Lambeth left the band.
Their 1975 single ‘Elusive’ (Capitol CL 15869) became a popular on the ‘Northern Soul’ scene.
A disco cover of Babe Ruth’s “The Mexican” appeared in the late 1970s, performed by the Bombers. This version inspired an electro/freestyle cover produced by Jellybean Benitez in 1984, for which he managed to recruit Haan on vocals – the cover subsequently becoming noted for its popularity as an underground dance hit.
Between late 2005 and early 2006, Haan (now Janita Haan Morris), Hewitt, Shacklock, and Punshon reunited to record new material together in Nashville, with Spevock recording his drums in London. The album, titled Que Pasa, was completed September 2006, and after being made available in digital form via the band’s official web site, was released on Revolver Records in 2009.
On June 28, 2014 Babe Ruth played their only show in the world for 2014 at Milwaukee’s Summerfest over 7000 attended.