Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 02.20.1908

Ruby Elzy, Stage and Film Vocalist born

Ruby Elzy

*Ruby Elzy was born on this date in 1908. She was a Black opera singer who appeared on stage, radio and film.

A native of Pontotoc, Mississippi, at the age of five her family was abandoned. Her mother (Emma) Elzy supported the family as a teacher at the colored school in Pontotoc.  Elzy is known to have created the role of Serena in George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" on Broadway in 1935. She was married twice, her second husband was actor Jack Carr, who appeared on stage with her in "Porgy and Bess" and who also appeared in a number of films.

Elzy made her film debut opposite Paul Robeson in 1933's "The Emperor Jones" while still a student at New York's Juilliard School. Her most prominent screen moment came in 1941's "Birth of the Blues," starring Bing Crosby, when she sang "St. Louis Blues."

She had just completed the 1943 tour of "Porgy and Bess," when she died following an operation for what was thought to be a minor condition.

Reference:
Africana The Encyclopedia of the African and
African American Experience
Editors: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Copyright 1999
ISBN 0-465-0071-1

To Become a Musician or Singer

Reference:

MDAH.MS.gov

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

String-chewing bass players, Plucking rolled balls of sound From the jazz scented night Feeding hungry beat seekers Finger shaped heartbeats, Driving ivory nails Into their greedy eyes. Smoke crystals, from the nostrils Of released jazz demons, Crash from... MINGUS by Bob Kaufman.
Read More