Rest In Peace, Fierce Loveliness

Lena Horne, the ground-breaking singer, actress and civil rights activist who, in 1942, became the first African-American performer to be put under contract by a major studio, died on Sunday, May 9, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92.

From Lady Haig, in June 2009~~~

"James Gavin's long awaited 'Stormy Weather,' about the legendary-most-exquisite-living elegant beauty: Lena Horne, is gorgeous gold and blows my mind and I am haunted by what was required of this beautiful, intelligent woman, still remembering in 1965 as I watched an at least seven foot tall Las Vegas deputy ... See Moresheriff in true ... See Morewild west garb, clad in beige, from the top of his huge hat to his shiny brown boots, escort the trembling stone-faced beauty of Lena across the open floor of Jake Gottlieb's Dunes Hotel, where she was appearing but could not throw those 'bones' and wish a 'new pair of shoes for baby.'

"Once upon a time, my first husband, a white man Al Haig, the chosen pianist of the innovators and titans of bebop:Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, played the piano in a movie, entitled: Stormy Weather with Lena Horne. He opened and he closed; Al was present at the heart of the rhythm, then suddenly he was gone, so is The Dunes Hotel, BUT LENA HORNE IS STILL STANDING. YES!

"I picture Lena, dressed in a gorgeous flowing red chiffon caftan, alone in a penthouse with Ava Gardner sipping a toast to James Gavin and reciting:

'Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - '

John G. Magee

Posted by BebopAuthor"


  1. R.I.P. A beautiful woman and a brilliant entertainer. She will be missed.

  2. Lena Horne once commented that she was "a kind of black that white people could accept."

    "I was their daydream," she said. "I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.",0,1440666,full.story

  3. Ahhh sooo glad to see this! Lena was indeed a remarkable, fierce goddess - a deep bow of respect, a tear and a rose to you my dear - you will indeed be deeply missed

  4. I remember vividly seeing Lena Horne at the 1963 March on Washington. She was introduced, stepped up to the lectern, took the microphone in her hand, and projected one word, from the bottom of her feet, straight up through her whole body, and out it came: "FREEDOM!" I still hear it in my mind's memory.