Lena Horne The Lady and Her Music This Week at LiveAuctionTalk.com Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller. Her weekly LiveAuctionTalk.com column is full of lively stories that bring collecting to life with selections covering the gamut from books to baseball.
News-Antique.com - Jun 10,2011 - In the early 1940s Lena Horne was scheduled to sing for the troops at Fort Riley in Kansas as a morale builder. Even though she was black she performed for the white soldiers first. She was only allowed to repeat her act for African-American troops the following day in a separate black mess hall.
Lena was born in Brooklyn on June 30, 1917. She got her start at age 16 as a dancer in the chorus of Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. After taking voice lessons she went on to sing at the club. There she rubbed shoulders with jazz performers like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington.
She went on to become a huge nightclub superstar in the 1950s and early-1960s. Lena headlined at clubs and hotels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
In the 1980s she was re-discovered through her one-woman Broadway show “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music” which ran for more than 300 performances. The show earned her a Tony Award and two Grammy Awards.
Lena was the first black performer to sign a long-term Hollywood contract. Her contract stipulated she would never have to play a maid.
“I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else,” she said. She received honorary degrees from Yale, Howard and Fordham University.
On Feb. 23, Doyle, New York, featured the estate of Lena Horne on the block. A portrait photo of the singer taken by Carl Van Vechten; 1941; 9 9/8 inches by 8 7/8 inches; sold for $3,478.
Read the full story at http://www.LiveAuctionTalk.com