February 2010 Issue
During the late 1930s and early ’40s, Ohio State University graduate Ruby Elzy was in the top tier of American sopranos. Making her debut as Serena in George Gershwin’s landmark work, “Porgy and Bess,” she would go on to entertain Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House, and co-star in “Birth of the Blues” opposite Bing Crosby and Mary Martin.
In 2004, Columbus author David Weaver chronicled Elzy’s career in “Black Diva of the Thirties: The Life of Ruby Elzy.” Two years later, he produced a CD of her monumental performances.
Here are two excerpts:
1. “My Man’s Gone Now” (from “Porgy and Bess”), with spoken introduction by George Gershwin. Rehearsal recording with the CBS Studio Orchestra, George Gershwin, conductor. Recorded 7/19/35.
2. “Summertime” (from “Porgy and Bess”) performed on Fred Allen’s radio show, “Town Hall Tonight,” at NBC studios, 4/28/37.
To order “Ruby Elzy in Song,” visit Cambria Music or call 310/831-1322.