Five On Friday - Lena Horne

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, July 22, 2011

Check out the other participants by clicking on the link to the left...and join in!

You can register for free at and type in a band name and BAM the song will be there to assist in building your playlist.

Travis lays out some guidelines for this meme and they go like this:

1. Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.

2. Go to to make your play list of five songs. Choose a particular theme to share with us. You can simply post the play list, or you can add a little summary about what you are sharing.

3. I don't know how to make a specific linky, so be sure to leave me a comment to let me know that you participated.

4. No tags, but feel free to invite your friends to play along if they need a post topic on a Friday.

ah...what oh what can the subject of this week's Five On Friday? If you saw yesterdays post, you know my brain is shriveled this week and not quite functioning...

So, I sit here at 6:15pm on Thursday evening and normally this post would have been completed at lunchtime.

I grab my iTouch, set it to artists, flick my finger along the edge causing them to scroll, not looking at the screen, two flicks, three and place my finger on the screen without looking and up pops LENA HORNE.

I have always enjoyed her music (thus the couple of songs in my collection), but not a ton to just tell you about this remarkable and talented woman. So, I give you an edited timeline found on the Lena Horne Tribute Site:

1917...... Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born on June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York in a small Jewish Hospital. Her parents were Edna Scottron Horne and Edwin "Teddy" Horne.

1919...... October 1919, Lena Horne was the youngest member of the NAACP. Lena's photo appeared in the October 1919 issue of the NAACP Branch Bulletin.

1920....... Lena's parents divorced, when she was three. Due to her mother traveling, Lena grew up in numerous places like Brooklyn, Bronx, Georgia and Miami.

1933....... Sixteen year old Lena starred in a Charity Show. She played the role of the bride in "Marriage via Contract" with the Junior Theatre Guild.

1935...... Join "Noble Sissle Society Orchestra" as a singer and she had a tap dance routine. She went by the name Helena Horne.

1940-41.. Lena went to work at the Cafe Society Nightclub. Barney Josephson wanted Lena to sing a Blues number during her set. Having a Jazz background and not Blues, Lena went to visit Billie Holiday backstage at the Kelly's Stable Nightclub. Lena & Billie became friends after the first meeting. Lena was also dating Boxing Legend Joe Louis. Also, during this time Lena meets her mentor and bestfriend Billy Strayhorn.

1942..... Lena moved to Hollywood. Lena signed a 7 year contact with MGM Studios, she was the highest paid black actor at the time. MGM studios pointed Max Factors himself to create a make-up for Lena that would make her look darker it was called "Light Egyptian". Lena's career took off with her triumphant appearance at the Savoy Plaza Hotel nightclub engagement in New York City. She was featured in Life magazine as a provocative new singing star.

1947..... A Blacklist was started in Hollywood - A large group of movie executives announced that Communists and other subversives would never "knowingly" be employed in Hollywood again. Lena was listed for her support of the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee, the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee and W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson's Council on African Affairs. Lena was considered, if not a Communist, as least prematurely anti-Fascist.

1957..... Lena gets her name cleared from the Hollywood Blacklist, with help from George Sokolsky. She was then able to work on television & movies again. Lena also began working in Las Vegas at the Sands. Lena starred in the play Jamaica on Broadway. Lena was making the TV circuit on shows like the Perry Como Show, What's My Line, Tonight Show with Steve Allen and etc.

1963..... Lena temporarily retires from performing and becomes deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Lena also meets Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi,a week before he was murdered. She participated in the March on Washington and performed at rallies throughout the country for the National Council for Negro Women.

1969..... Lena stars in her first US Special - Monsanto Night Presents Lena Horne.

1999...... Lena made her last Major Public appearance at an all-star salute in her honor at New York's Avery Fisher Hall.

2005...... Lena was one of the legends honored at the Oprah's Winfrey's Legend Weekend. Lena was unable to attend the three day event.

2007..... At 90 years old Lena is completely retired from show business and doesn't do any interviews or public appearance. She lives in the Upper East Side of New York City.

2010..... May 9th - Lena Horne passed away at the age of 92 at New York Presbysterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Quite a talent...Quite a life...Quite a woman...

 Lena Mary Calhoun Horne 
(June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010)

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5 Of Your Sparks

  1. Unknown Says:
  2. I have been a Prisoner of Love before but not quite like that!

  3. One of my all time favorite artists. When she passed away last year, I dd this blog article A Woman For All Ages.

    Great choices for this week.

  4. Linda Says:
  5. I'll say what a life!

    "Stormy Weather" has always been a favorite of mine and the other songs very well could become so also!

  6. Mimi Lenox Says:
  7. Inspiration. Inspiration. Inspiration!! Incredible talent and classy lady. LOVED THIS POST.

  8. Travis Cody Says:
  9. Beautiful woman. Beautiful voice. Beautiful soul.


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