Raised north of Birmingham in Adamsville, AL, Elnora Spencer began singing at the age of four. Female singers in her family introduced her to music, but a community of family, school, and church inspired her to pursue her talent. Ms. Spencer remembers jam session during home parties, an avenue to learn traditionally from relatives and neighbors. She also recalls singing in elementary school, performing on stage for the first time, and joining several gospel choirs from area churches of diverse denominations.
How We Helped:
Music Maker has been providing Elnora with much needed art supplies so that she is able to make her folk art.
As her education continued at Southern Junior College and Jefferson State Community College, she sang in the school choirs while competing in writing and poetry contests. At age fifteen, she was in a band and had her first real stage presence at Paul “Tall Paul” White’s Funland, a venue on the musical circuit supporting the blues that also gave rise to other genres including jazz, soul, and R and B. By age twenty-five, she was a member of the band called, Universal. Spencer recalls traveling throughout the South and Midwest and performing at venues in Huntsville, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and other cities. Elnora Spencer gained her status as one of Alabama’s and the South’s leading ladies of the blues. She has opened for and worked with a variety of artists including Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, Bobby Womack, Koko Taylor, Tyrone Davis, Millie Jackson, Shirley Brown, Denise LaSalle and Percy Sledge