Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The news of Lena Horne's death reached me just as I was finishing yesterday's morning blog, so I put in the YouTube video below.

Today, please read the NY Times bio, which, by no means definitive, is pretty good.

Lena has so much more than a singer and a movie star.

She was a one-woman force for good in the world, a dynamo.

She says that she learned everything she ever knew about singing from her great friend, Billy Strayhorn, the genius who wrote and arranged so much of Duke Ellington's signature music.

Lena struggled with and against and broke every color barrier in American life.

She was fearless and emotionally rich and complex and all of that was revealed in every note she sang.

Reconfiguring "Stormy Weather" into the version that she sang much later in life and the one you can see and hear below, she said it took her an entire lifetime to fully occupy and understand the song.

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