Akron singer Ruby Nash Garnett was on hand Tuesday as a banner was put on display in Summit County Juvenile Court, commemorating her career with Ruby and the Romantics. The banner also honors the Howard Street district, which drew African-American entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington from the 1930s through 1960s.
“It was great. Every time they do something, I feel good that Akron really thinks about me and our group,” Nash Garnett said of the honor. Ruby and the Romantics scored a No. 1 hit in 1963 with Our Day Will Come. They also had hits with My Summer Love and Hey There Lonely Boy.
“I was really surprised, I wasn’t expecting it to be so big. The picture was one that I hadn’t seen in years; I don’t have that picture, but I remember it. ... I’m just glad I’m still here to enjoy it,” she said. Group co-founders Ronald Mosley, Leroy Fann, George Lee and Ed Roberts are deceased.
The court observes Black History Month and Women’s History Month by displaying banners that celebrate accomplished African-American women with ties to Summit County. Akron native Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate, was a previous honoree.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3758.