Ginger Smock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ginger Smock
Ginger Smock's violin, at the Smithsonian
Background information
Birth nameEmma Smock
Born(1920-06-04)4 June 1920
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Died13 June 1995(1995-06-13) (aged 75)

Emma Smock (4 June 1920[1]– 13 June 1995[2]), better known as Ginger Smock,[3][4] was a violinist, orchestra leader, and local Los Angeles television personality. She is perhaps best known from her recordings with the Vivien Garry Quintet, though other recordings have surfaced recently. In addition to her work in jazz and rhythm & blues, she performed with the All City Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Chicago, Smock grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Jefferson High School.[2] She studied violin privately with Bessie Dones, and at the age of 10 appeared as a soloist at the Hollywood Bowl.[2] She was featured on Clarence Muse's radio program at the age of thirteen performing Edward MacDowell's To a Wild Rose.[2] She earned degrees in music from Los Angeles City College, and the Zoellner Conservatory of Music.[2] At the latter institution she was a pupil of Edith Smith.[2]

During 1944 she was leading a trio, with Nina Russell and Mata Roy.[6] In 1951, she led an all-female sextette, featuring Clora Bryant,[7] on the Chicks and the Fiddle show hosted by Phil Moore[3] that broadcast for six weeks on CBS.[8] In 1952, she was the featured soloist on KTLA's variety show, Dixie Showboat.[3]

On March 31, 1953, Smock recorded as part of a group, with Gerald Wiggins, Freddie Simon, Red Callender, and Rudy Pitts, accompanying the vocalist Cecil "Count" Carter.[9]

Beginning in the mid-1970s, she spent ten years as concertmaster of show orchestras in Las Vegas.[2]

A violin owned by Smock is in the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.[10]


  • Ginger Smock: Studio and Demo Recordings 1946-1958 (AB Fable, 2005)


  1. ^ Cox, Bette Yarbrough (1996) Central Avenue - its rise and fall, 1890-c. 1955: including the musical renaissance of Black Los Angeles. BEEM Publications At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Anthony Barnett (2003). "Smock (Shipp), Ginger [née Smock, Emma; Colbert, Emma S(mock); Shipp, Emma]". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J696500. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0.
  3. ^ a b c "Hot violinist is TV Hit in Los Angeles" Jet. At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ "New York Beat" Jet. At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  5. ^ Lewis, Steven (June 2017). "The Woman with the Violin: Ginger Smock and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene". Smithsonian Institution.
  6. ^ "Reviews: Nina, Mata and Ginger" Billboard. At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  7. ^ Mcgee, Kristin A. (2009) Some Liked it Hot: Jazz Women in Film and Television, 1928-1959, p. 211. Wesleyan University Press At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  8. ^ The New York Times Television Reviews 2000, p. 372. Routledge, Jun 5, 2003 At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  9. ^ Women in Jazz: A Discography of Instrumentalists, 1913-1968. Greenwood Press, 1985 At Google Books. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  10. ^ "The Woman with the Violin". 25 September 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.