Jazz expert Ruby Glover


January 13, 2007|By JACQUES KELLY

Ruby Glover has another project on the way. She's investigating a home near the harbor that new research identifies as the home of blues legend Billie Holiday in the 1920s.

Glover, who is 77, teaches a jazz appreciation course at Sojourner-Douglass College and is actively involved in the history of black music in Baltimore.

If requested, she leads tours along Pennsylvania Avenue, where she once sang at several clubs.

"In order to study the history of jazz, I have to start with the Avenue," she said the other day.

Former mayor Kurt L. Schmoke called Glover "the godmother of jazz."

She is a resident of Stirling Street in the Oldtown neighborhood and lives not too far from where she was born at Dallas and Monument streets. For many years, Glover helped stage the annual Billie Holiday competition for young vocalists.

"I was born a black Alice in Wonderland," says the ever-ebullient Glover. "I love the city 100 percent. She's always been wonderful to me."

As to what might become a new Billie Holiday shrine, Glover says, "I'm the requesting the love and prayers for this to be a positive experience to the memory of Billie, a woman who gave all. This is a new bell that will ring for the people who loved her music."

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