Jazz Music

Lena Horne - Black Hollywood Entertainment

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Lena HorneHere's a great number featuring Lena Horne, but it also features many beautiful unsung black women of Hollywood of the 40's, that have been hugely overlooked.
The women in the halter tops and red shorts from left to right are Kathleen Hartsfield, who also was in Stormy Weather as the hat check girl and in Cabin In The Sky as a dancer, next is Juliette Ball who was in many Hollywood movies, including Stormy Weather and Cabin In The Sky, she was a stand-in for Lena Horne and a good friend of Dorothy Dandridge. She also was a model who appeared in many European magazines. She also was an activist for blacks. I'm unsure of the beautiful lady on the right of Lena Horne. The last lady is Maggie Mae Hathaway, a great lady who did so much for blacks, she along with Juliette help form the NAACP Image Awards, and she helped integrate blacks in golfing. She also was in many films, and a singer and dancer. Also in the number is Louise Franklin, who been in over 30 films, she was in films from the 1930s to the 1950s, her most significant films were Citizen Kane, Stormy Weather, and Cabin In The Sky. She was a wonderful dancer and a pretty lady who was one of the first women on the cover of Jet magazine. Artie Young is also in this number, she was a popular dancer in the 30's and 40's. She was married to legendary dancer Leonard Reed. She also played the girlfriend to Herb Jeffries in the first black cowboy movies. Marie Bryant, legendary dancer and choreographer is also in this number.
Singer/actress Lena Horne's primary occupation was nightclub entertaining, a profession she pursued successfully around the world for more than 60 years, from the 1930s to the 1990s. In conjunction with her club work, she also maintained a recording career that stretched from 1936 to 2000 and brought her three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989; she appeared in 16 feature films and several shorts between 1938 and 1978; she performed occasionally on Broadway, including in her own Tony-winning one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, in 1981-1982; and she sang and acted on radio and television. Adding to the challenge of maintaining such a career was her position as an African-American facing discrimination personally and in her profession during a period of enormous social change in the U.S. Her first job in the 1930s was at the Cotton Club, where blacks could perform but not be admitted as customers; by 1969, when she acted in the film Death of a Gunfighter, her character's marriage to a white man went unremarked in the script. Horne herself was a pivotal figure in the changing attitudes about race in the 20th century; her middle-class upbringing and musical training predisposed her to the popular music of her day, rather than the blues and jazz genres more commonly associated with African-Americans, and her photogenic looks were sufficiently close to Caucasian that frequently she was encouraged to try to "pass" for white, something she consistently refused to do. But her position in the middle of a social struggle enabled her to become a leader in that struggle, speaking out in favor of racial integration and raising money for civil rights causes. By the end of the century, she could look back at a life that was never short on conflict, but that could be seen ultimately as a triumph.

Tags: jazz vocal

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