This Week In Texas Music History: Ruth Bingaman Smith
This week in Texas music history, we’ll meet a child prodigy whose tastes ranged from classical music to fiddle hoedowns.
At her last public performance on February 23, 1991, pianist Ruth Bingaman Smith was honored for her work by proclamation from Texas governor Ann Richards. Smith was born August 29, 1894 in Columbus, Ohio but moved with her family to San Antonio in 1903. In 1905, at the age of eleven, Smith made her debut performance of Beethoven’s C major concerto at San Antonio’s Beethoven Hall. By 1915, she was performing with the San Antonio Symphony.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Ruth Bingaman Smith made several recordings, ranging from classical pieces to the old fiddle tune “Turkey In The Straw.” She died in San Antonio on May 15, 1996 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Next time on This Week In Texas Music History, we’ll visit a nightclub that used music to help challenge racial segregation.