Lena Horne

The Fabulous Lena Horne

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This British compilation chronicles the first decade of Lena Horne's recording career, from her start at age 18 with Noble Sissle and His Orchestra to the end of her 20s. Though it is subtitled "22 Hits," the disc contains only two actual hits, "Stormy Weather" and "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," which were the only hits Horne scored during this period. Nevertheless, she enjoyed a varied career, starting with the breathless -- and probably nervous -- performance of "I Take You" with Sissle and continuing with more confident stints in the bands of Charlie Barnet and Artie Shaw, a session of W.C. Handy songs with a Dixieland band, and the lush, orchestral arrangements she encountered on the Hollywood sound stages. Throughout, she sings winningly, clearly articulating the lyrics of Cole Porter, Noël Coward, and Johnny Mercer, among others, and swinging even the more staid charts. She did not record extensively during this period, and one is struck by her growth as a singer and the changes in musical style from session to session. But she always handles the material well, if not always as masterfully as she would later in her career.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Noble Sissle
2:45
2
feat: Noble Sissle
3:07
3 3:21
4 3:15
5
3:17
6
feat: Henry Levine
3:04
7
feat: Henry Levine
2:50
8
feat: Henry Levine
2:50
9
feat: Henry Levine
3:01
10 3:08
11
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:31
12
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:25
13 3:24
14 2:42
15 2:33
16 2:57
17 2:45
18 2:45
19 3:22
20 2:49
21 3:25
22 5:55
blue highlight denotes track pick