On nightclub stages, on records, on Broadway and on the screen, Lena Horne has long been on top and on target. Turning 91 this month, her glow and glamour remain, her influence and stardom monumental. She was last on disc embracing songs of friend Billy Strayhorn. (His biographer, David Hadju, told us, “Lena loved Strayhorn like she loved no other man, and she said that, through him, she found something greater than stardom. She found herself.”) Lena herself gets the biographical treatment with James Gavin’s forthcoming book. Though she’s had her real-life share of “Stormy Weather,” she’s a survivor and an inspiration, a blazing talent and a trailblazer for racial equality and opportunity. Live performances on disc and DVD, including her career-spanning triumph, The Lady and Her Music, capture much magic, fire and finesse—likewise her legacy of personalized studio versions of standards from the Great American Songbook. They are treasures—and so is she.
Category: Hall of Fame