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Ruby Wilson

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Information about Ruby Wilson

Profile image of Ruby Wilson

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Bologna sandwich
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Zealand
Favorite Quote:
It Ain't Nothin' But A Party.

Birthplace

Born:
2/29/1948

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Bologna sandwich
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Zealand
Favorite Quote:
It Ain't Nothin' But A Party.

Birthplace

Born:
2/29/1948
See how Ruby Wilson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Singer Ruby Wilson, who would come to be known as the “Queen of Beale Street”, was born in Texas. She moved to Memphis Tennessee and started her professional singing career when she was sixteen years old. Fellow musician B.B. King is her godfather, and Wilson has been one of the house staples at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Memphis, Tennessee.

Wilson has recorded more than ten albums and has performed with other artists such as B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, and Ray Charles. She has had roles in several movies, including The Chamber, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Cookie’s Fortune, and Black Snake Moan, and her music was included in some of their soundtracks. She was also one of the blues musicians included in the documentary film Delta Rising, alongside other blues artists such as Willie Nelson, Chris Cotton, and Morgan Freeman.

Wilson performed at the White House, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and many other prominent venues around the globe. She was honored with the Memphis sound Award for Best Entertainer, the Authentic Beale Street Musician Award, and a Supporter’s Award from the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Wilson was inducted into the African American Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a member of the Memphis-Shelby County Film & Tape Commission.

Wilson passed away on August 12, 2016.

See how Ruby Wilson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruby Wilson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruby Wilson lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruby Wilson talks about her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruby Wilson talks about her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruby Wilson describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruby Wilson describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruby Wilson talks about her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruby Wilson describes her childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ruby Wilson talks about attending elementary school at Riverside Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ruby Wilson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ruby Wilson talks about her childhood church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ruby Wilson talks about growing up outside of Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ruby Wilson talks about the entertainment she grew up with and gospel music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ruby Wilson talks about attending I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, Texas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruby Wilson talks about attending I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, Texas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruby Wilson talks about singing in church as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruby Wilson talks about learning about popular music and getting married
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruby Wilson talks about President John F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruby Wilson talks about political figures of the 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruby Wilson talks about picking cotton as a teenager in Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruby Wilson talks about her favorite counselor in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruby Wilson talks about getting married to Jessie Moseley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ruby Wilson talks performing music with her husband in churches in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ruby Wilson talks about living in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ruby Wilson talks about churches and choirs in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ruby Wilson talks about the Chicago riots of 1968 after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Ruby Wilson talks about singing gospel in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Ruby Wilson talks about singing with Shirley Caesar
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruby Wilson talks about meeting Shirley Caesar
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruby Wilson describes her transition from singing gospel music to singing jazz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruby Wilson talks about her mother's work as a maid
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruby Wilson talks about returning to Texas in the early 1970s after her divorce
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruby Wilson talks about singing in church in Texas after returning from Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruby Wilson talks about meeting HistoryMaker B.B. King
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruby Wilson reflects on her development as a singer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruby Wilson talks about meeting Isaac Hayes and Helen Washington in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruby Wilson talks about Rufus Thomas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ruby Wilson talks about the entertainment business and performing on 'The Elvis Cruise'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ruby Wilson talks about recording a benefit album for Haiti with the Bar-Kays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ruby Wilson talks about being introduced to the black clubs in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Ruby Wilson talks about The Other Place chain of clubs and deciding to stay in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruby Wilson talks about HistoryMaker Jerry Fanion
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruby Wilson talks about becoming the Queen of Beale Street
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruby Wilson talks about meeting the Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu and going to New Zealand
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruby Wilson talks about working with Jazzdagen tours
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruby Wilson talks about HistoryMaker Ernest Withers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruby Wilson talks about her travels
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruby Wilson talks about where she performs in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruby Wilson talks about her albums
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ruby Wilson talks about opening for Ray Charles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ruby Wilson talks about her singing style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ruby Wilson talks about her role in the film "Marie"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Ruby Wilson talks about her other movie roles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Ruby Wilson talks about being caught at sea during Hurricane Gustav
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Ruby Wilson talks about the changes on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruby Wilson describes her vision for Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruby Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruby Wilson reflects on her life and recovering from a stroke
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruby Wilson talks about her children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruby Wilson reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ruby Wilson reflects upon how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ruby Wilson narrates her photographs