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Lena Horne

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Category: Music - Popular
Reference No: 10537
Status: Available
Price: £15.00
  Lena Horne  Lena Horne

click on the small image to see a larger version


American singer and actress.

Horne was pushed by her mother into show business - she got her hired at age 16 as a chorus girl at Harlem's famous Cotton Club. Lena had to quit school and become the family breadwinner with a salary of just $25 weekly.
Spotted by an agent who had seen her at the Cotton Club, Horne moved to Hollywood where she was soon discovered by MGM. Her first film role was uncredited, as a singer in a club in the Ann Sothern musical Panama Hattie (1942). Her performance was well received and MGM gave her a spot in a big all-star revue, Thousands Cheer. (1943) singing one of her most famous movie numbers, Honeysuckle Rose. MGM loaned her to 20th Century-Fox for her next film, an all-star all-black musical, Stormy Weather (1943). The title song became one of Horne’s trademark numbers. Most of her 16 film roles in the '40s and '50s were cameos, separate from the rest of the film, which could be cut for prejudiced Southern audiences. She did have two more great roles in the '40s, though: the sexy, scheming Georgia Brown in Cabin in the Sky (1943) and Julie in the mini-production of "Show Boat" in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946). Ironically, Lena was passed up for the role of Julie in MGM's full 1951 production of Show Boat -- the part was instead given to Ava Gardner.
After MGM's Meet Me in Las Vegas in 1956, Lena became tired of her throwaway "guest" roles in movies, and left the movies, not to return for 13 years (in 1969 she co-starred in Death of a Gunfighter). A year after Vegas, Horne recorded Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria. It became the highest-selling album by any female artist in RCA Victor's history. After that she concentrated mostly on singing.

This is a very fine vintage 6" x 4" black and white photograph, neatly signed ("Most sincerely, Lena Horne") in blue fountain pen ink across the image. In very good condition.