Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ruby Elzy

My story is one of discovery and fame.

I am Ruby Elzy. I was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, but my family moved to Corinth when I was young. A gentleman discovered me while I was singing in a kitchen at Rust College. He and his family helped me get an education and I was able to attend Julliard. My voice carried me far. Mr. Gershwin wrote the part of Serena in Porgy and Bess just for me and I starred in the movies, Birth of the Blues and Emporer Jones. I traveled all over the United States when it wasn’t so easy for African Americans to do so. I died suddenly in the 1930s. The world will never know what greatness might have followed.


Vicky said...

Ms. Elzy tragically died on June 26, 1943 in Detroit following surgery for a benign tumor. She was only 35 and is buried in Pontotoc, MS.

David Weaver said...

Thank you, Vicky, for making that correction. My book, "Black Diva of the Thirties," published in 2004 by University Press of MS, was the first-ever full-length biography of Ruby Elzy. Her mother Emma's home in Corinth at 505 King Avenue (today Martin Luther King Blvd) was just demolished in 2008. The Elzys were a remarkable family that all Corinth and MS can be proud of.