From Poppa Goldberg:
An excellent site. The most famous of all Russian folk singers, incidentally, was a woman named Ruslanova. She made hundreds – thousands – of Soviet folk recordings and appeared in many movies, usually playing a collective farm worker, smiling broadly while singing at the top of her lungs, her voice carrying across several miles of the farm, all the while lifting a hundred pounds of hay with her pitchfork. She had a remarkable, throaty voice, and was so popular that villagers would stop the train she was on if it passed through their village. She sang for troops all over the front during World War II. She probably was – by far – the most popuilar entertainer in Russia duriing the ‘thirties and ‘forties. After the war, Stalin had her arrested for treason (!) and she was sent to the Gulag for several years. I think after Stalin died she was reeleased and died soon thereafter. I saw several of her clilche movies and have several of her records.