Nat King ColeRosa Pryor is the woman that the late Nat King Cole wrote about in his famous chart-topping song, “Ramblin' Rose”
(Listen to "Ramblin' Rose")


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Rosa at book signing

ABOUT


Rosa "Rambling Rose" Pryor-Trusty, a native Baltimorean, graduated from Edmondson High School in 1963 and attended Community College of Baltimore and Morgan State College.

Rosa has been an R&B music enthusiast since 1957. She started as a singer, songwriter and musician, playing saxophone and piano for the group she founded, "Little Johnny and the Twilight's". While performing as the group's lead vocalist, she wrote, produced, and recorded a tune called, "Thanks Mr. D.J." on Decade Records under the management of the late Paul "Fat Daddy" Johnson, and Rockin' Robin, two of the greatest radio personalities in our time. The song was Rosa's and her group's tributes to them for helping her get started in the music field. On tour, Rosa and the Twilight's had an opportunity to meet and open for great performers such as The Shirrelles, The Chantels, Ruby & the Romantics, Jimi Hendrix and Sam Cooke. Her commitment to every aspect of the music industry is a testimony of her deep soul felt love for the artistry in its entirety.

As an entrepreneur since 1966, Rosa helped other musicians establish their careers. She gathered local neighborhood children from their nests, pruned and greased their musical wings, and sent them soaring into flight. Rosa recognized that these elementary, junior and senior high school students needed only her love and guidance to hone their vocal and instrumental talents. Her passions nourished more than 20 music groups. She coordinated, trained, counseled, and managed them individually and as a group. With the help of her dear friends in radio business such as Kelson "Cha-Cha" Fisher, Al Jefferson, Dell Edwards, Rockin' Robin, Fat Daddy, Bob Dockins, Larry Dean, Sir Johnny O and the renowned "Hoppy" Adams, she was able to book her bands all over the east coast. "Hoppy" Adams became her Master of Ceremony for the shows she booked in the Eastern Shore area for many years.

Starting in 1969, she assisted, managed and produced many professional, local R&B and Jazz musicians and singers including The Vandals, The Fabulous Friends, The Jewel Box Review, First Class, The SoftTones, Julius Brockington Trio, Bobby Star, Winfield Parker and Benny Johnson, just to name a few.

In 1980, Rosa started to study and research the jazz world, so she could keep her groups working. Traveling from jazz club to jazz club in Baltimore, she taught herself the marketing power to promote and sell her groups and in the process pick up on other artists and musicians who needed her guidness. She soon became booking agent and manager to some of Baltimore's finest such as: Lady Rebecca, Nikki Cooper, Mickey Fields, Andy Ennis, Sir Thomas Hurley, Carlos Johnson, Bobby Ward and Dennis Chambers, just to name a very few. Among the national and international acts that have benefited from Rosa's promotional skills were entertainers such as Sir Walter Jackson, Joe Tex, Sonny 'Til and the Orioles, The Clovers, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, The Drifters, The Swallows, Phillipe' Wynn, Wild Man Steve, Sir Walter Jackson, Millie Jackson, Stanley Turentine, Jimmy McGriff, Peg Leg Bates and Jack McDuff just to name a few.

Because of her unyielding passion and diligent efforts, Rosa soon became known as one of the top Black female promoters and managers in Maryland and the East Coast. Later she co-promoted with giant promoters in the business such as Elzie Street, Nick Mosby, Biddy Wood, and Lou Koupusia. She became a professional, licensed booking agent and established her own promotional/marketing agency called, Rosa Pryor Productions, which booked many of the jazz musicians in the Baltimore/Washington area. She proved an invaluable asset to local nightclub and bar owners as a business developer and consultant. She was manager of the famous Club Casino on Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue, under the ownership of Willie Adams and General manager and booking agent for the Elgin Lounge under ownership of the late Ambrose Robinson; Pat's Lounge and Cade's Country Club and so many more.

In 1971, the late, Ida Peters, the Afro-American Newspaper Entertainment Editor quoted Rosa as being, "the most talked about, popular and the only Black female promoter in Maryland/Washington Metropolitan area ..". She has booked and promoted entertainment all over Maryland including Baltimore, Eastern Shore, Cambridge, and Waldorf. She has also lent her talents to Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Pennsylvania, North & South Carolina, Detroit and Chicago, etc. She has co-produced shows and concerts at Painters Mill Music Fair, Baltimore Civic Center, Capital Center, Carr's Beach, Ft. Smallwood and Ebbs Picnic Grove in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rosa's trade name is "Rambling Rose", a name that was given to her by the late great Nat "King" Cole when she was touring in the 50's with her own group, "The Twilighters". Rosa formerly play the piano & saxophone and as a vocalist, she set the stage on fire with her presence and held her audience in the palm of her hand.

Red has always been her favorite color and wore beautiful red gowns. When she performed, she always gave out to her audience her favorite flower, a long stem red rose, which became her signature.

Rosa "Rambling Rose" Pryor was the Entertainment Editor, Account Executive and Entertainment Columnist for the Baltimore Times and the Annapolis Times for ten years before she resigned in November 1998. From 1997 to 1998, she wrote an entertainment column for the "Buzz N'Around Baltimore Magazine". Rosa is the co-author of a collector's item book called, "African America Entertainment In Baltimore", which was published in June 2003 and sold out first print in six weeks and now the book is in its third print. She began her research to write this book on the legendary Pennsylvania Avenue clubs and entertainment of its heydays in 1989.

"Rambling Rose", as her readers affectionately call her is currently an entertainment columnist and reporter with the Afro-American Newspaper since 1997; The Informer Newspaper and freelances for other periodicals and has over 280,000 readerships. Rosa is a long time member of the National Association of Black Journalist, (NABJ).

Rosa is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of the Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, Inc. created in 1991. The fund provides money for aspiring musicians, ages 5-17, to pay tuition and purchase instruments.

She is also founder & CEO of an entertainment company with her husband, William "Shorty" Trusty, called RoseGarden Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. This is a company that provides entertainment, local and national for clubs, casinos, hotels, social events and racetracks. She is a Sister of the Trinity no. 5 Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Grand Lodge, and Affiliation since 1989. She is also Daughter of the Elks of Zorah Elliott Temple #717 of Baltimore, Maryland. Rosa is an honorary member of Left Bank Jazz Society, M.U.L.B.A. (Maryland United Licensee Beverage Association), and Jazz Expressways Foundation and of the Vanguard Justice Society.

Rosa has received numerous awards since the 1970's from organizations, television stations, radio stations, governors, mayors, congressmen, senators, councilmen, delegates, other elected officials, dignitaries and renowned organizations. She is married to William ("Shorty") Trusty. They are partners in business and soul mates! She is the mother of 4 and grandmother of 13 and great grandmother of 7.