Lena Horne

Blowin' in the Wind

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Lena Horne's stint at the 20th Century Fox Records label, 1963-1964, produced a couple of singles, "Now!" and "Blowin' in the Wind," and an LP, Here's Lena Now! Whoever controls the rights to these recordings has been very liberal about licensing them out to anybody who wants to reissue them. (Or maybe the rights have lapsed, and it's a free-for-all.) As a result, they've turned up on a lot of fly-by-night CDs with little or no information identifying them, and this is one of those discs. It contains "Blowin' in the Wind," which is, of course, Horne's cover of the Bob Dylan civil rights anthem, along with "Silent Spring," which was the B-side of "Now!," and eight tracks from Here's Lena Now! "Silent Spring," written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, was inspired by the Birmingham, AL, church bombing of September 15, 1963 that left four African-American children dead, although the lyric does not make a specific reference to that event; rather, the words are a poetic expression of some undefined sense of things being wrong. On the tracks from Here's Lena Now, Horne is her usual self, turning in sassy, confident readings of traditional pop songs by the likes of Duke Ellington and Frank Loesser. The CD's annotations are worse than bare-bones; there are no songwriting credits for some tracks, while "Old Devil Moon" is misidentified as having been written by "Hamilton/Lewis" when it is really the Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg song from the Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow.

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