The extraordinary soprano Ruby Elzy was personally chosen by George Gershwin to create the leading role of Serena in the original production of Porgy and Bess. After singing in more than 800 performances, and drawing fame for her signature song "My Man's Gone Now," the Juilliard-trained vocalist - plucked from poverty in Mississippi - was set to take on the role of Aida when tragedy struck at age 35.
In this edition of Crossover from 2010, Jill showcases the CD Ruby Elzy in Song: Rare Recordings 1935 to 1942 and speaks to author David Weaver, who wrote a biography about Ruby Elzy - Black Diva of the Thirties: The Life of Ruby Elzy.
Highlights from the CD include:
- Gershwin: "My Man's Gone Now"
- Gershwin: "Summertime"
- (Spiritual): "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child"
- James Bland: "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny"
- (Spiritual): "Don't You Weep When I'm Gone"
- Carl Bohm: "Still Wie Die Nacht"