Elizabeth Irene Beasley (1904-1980), known as Irene Beasley, American composer, singer, and radio personality, was born in 1904 in Whitehaven, Tennessee. Her family moved to Amarillo, Texas, when Irene was six years old. Beasley spent summers with her maternal grandmother in Plum Point, Mississippi. It was her grandmother Holmes who gave Beasley her first piano lessons and stimulated Beasley's lifelong love of music. Her mother died when Beasley was twelve years old, and she became close to her grandparents and aunt and uncle in Memphis, Tennessee. Though her father, James Neel Beasley, was a modest planter when Beasley was born, he became a wealthy grain and oil man in Amarillo.