Elgin, Daisy Pettit (1901–1975)

By: Clayton T. Shorkey

Type: Biography

Published: July 8, 2014

Updated: February 1, 2017

Daisy Pettit Elgin, opera singer, was born in Houston on November 6, 1901, to Robert Wilson and Daisy (Pettit) Elgin. In the early 1920s she received her musical training in New York under the direction of Charlotte Maconda. She was a coloratura soprano with a light, agile voice and extensive range. Her sister, Mary Alice, an accomplished pianist, also studied in New York. In May 1927 Daisy Elgin signed a concert contract with the management of R. E. Johnston in New York, and later that year her performances on the East Coast received glowing reviews. Her Houston debut was in 1930 and included arias such as "Ah! Fors' e Lui," from La Traviata and "Una Voce Poco Fa," from The Barber of Seville.

During the early 1930s Elgin had a Sunday night radio program, the Cox & Blackburn Frigidaire Hour, on KPRC in Houston. She also frequently appeared on tour throughout the United States with Beniamino Gigli and Giuseppe de Luca. Throughout the mid-to-late 1930s Elgin continued touring which included performances in major Texas cities, and she spent summers in New York. She was often a featured artist on the National Broadcasting Company’s radio network. Elgin lived in Houston later in life and was a member of Christ Church Cathedral. She never married. She died in Houston on June 19, 1975, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

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Daisy Elgin Collection, 1928–1941, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Houston Post, June 21, 1975. Vertical Files. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Music
  • Genres (Classical)
  • Women

Time Periods:

  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Clayton T. Shorkey, “Elgin, Daisy Pettit,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 04, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/elgin-daisy-pettit.

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July 8, 2014
February 1, 2017

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