Lena Horne


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In many ways Lena Horne was born out of time, and although she enjoyed a long, successful, and dignified career, most of that career was served under the subtle (and often not so subtle) racism in the stage, movie, and recording arenas of the 1940s and 1950s -- her stunning good looks and even more stunning vocal abilities would have made her a media superstar had she come along even a decade later than she did. As is, she left behind a tremendous legacy of recordings and stage and movie appearances, and her live shows were wonderfully intimate and stirring. This set collects some rare early studio tracks and several on-air radio show airchecks from the early '40s, most of them featuring Horne in front of a full orchestra. Among the gems here are a delightfully woozy-sounding “Ill Wind,” an appropriately haunting version of “Haunted Town,” airchecks for “Dat Ole Debbil Consequence” and “Stormy Weather,” and a somber but resilient take on “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen,” all of which are signature Lena Horne. Her death in May of 2010 took a brilliant star from the sky.

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