Award-winning Glasgow singer-songwriter Jo Mango is performing a concert to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kentucky woman Ruby Gray, who lost every member of her immediate family to cancer and who overcame her own battle with breast cancer to make it this far.
Ruby Gray, of Derbyville Kentucky, turns 100 years old on the 23d of February. In 1987, Ruby Gray lost her husband, Jack Gray, to cancer. A few years later in 1992 she won her own fight against breast cancer. But most tragically, in 2001, she said goodbye to her only child, Carolyn Gray Hammond, who also died of cancer. “They’ll Have to Shoot Me on Judgement Day” is what Ruby says about her own seeming indestructibility!
To celebrate her life and her living, her grandson Drew Hammond is hosting a concert at Glasgow University Chapel which will be watched via weblink by Ruby and her family all the way from her home of Kentucky, USA. Performing on the night is Glasgow singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jo Mango (who has worked with the likes of Vashti Bunyan and David Byrne) and celebrated all-female choir the Glasgow Madrigirls. Jo and the Madrigirls will also be doing unique and breathtaking collaborations on several of Mango’s gorgeous creations as well as other specially chosen folk songs. The programme will feature songs from Kentucky, and a special piece, written by Ruby’s grandson for the occasion. Drew says about this piece:
In 1986 Memi gave me a bible. Inside the cover is an inscription containing three of her favorite verses, the last of which is Isaiah 40. I have set part of the verse in a composition for three singers, violin and cello. This is me giving it back to her in the way that I have come to know. This was written for her. It’s music I thought she might like…She will be listening to the concert on the Memorial Chapel webcam from my father’s home in Danville, Kentucky. She will be accompanied by my father, my stepmother, my step grandmother, my sister in law, and a photograph of my mom.
There are no tickets – but donations on the door. All proceeds go to Cancer Research UK.
A celebration of the 100th Birthday of Ruby Gray and a charity fundraiser for Cancer Research UK
Jo Mango and the Madrigirls in unique collaboration
Glasgow University Chapel
Thursday 23rd February, 7.30pm
Donations on the door