Sad to report that the great Lena Horne passed away Sunday night at age 92.
A terrific singer, Lena Horne was best known onscreen for her performances in 1940's musicals such as CABIN IN THE SKY and STORMY WEATHER. Her version of the latter's title song became even better known than Ivie Anderson's original version (no small feat, trust me!) and in fact she made it her signature song. Offscreen, she was a pioneering voice in the Civil Rights movement and a lifelong activist.
Those of my generation became familiar with Ms. Horne through her near-constant appearances on popular variety shows (FLIP WILSON, LAUGH-IN, DEAN MARTIN) and for one very memorable appearance as herself in one of the best-loved episodes of SANFORD AND SON. She was in her late fifties at the time, and her best-known film appearances were three full decades behind her, but Ms. Horne still had us understanding why Freddy G. was so smitten with her. It goes without saying that she induced yet another "big one" that almost sent the senior Sanford back to Elizabeth!
The first clip at the top is Lena Horne on a 1967 episode of THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW signing with the star of the show. They sounded great together, and ol' Dino clearly enjoyed singing with her, for she returned to the show 5 times. And of course, there's much more of Lena on YouTube, and you'd much rather hear her sing, so here ya go:
R.I. P. Ms. Horne. More reviews coming!