“Stormy Weather” Along the Way

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”-Lena Horne

Lena Horne was born today in 1917, 2 years before my dad and she died at the age of 92 in NYC in 2010. There was only one Lena Horne. When I was very young, my dad, who loved music and could sing and whistle in tune, had albums by Lena Horne and of course I noticed her beauty right away on the album covers, but her style of singing really awed me. She could be smooth and all of a sudden, turn on a dime and get you in your gut. I remember my husband and I seeing her 1981 one-woman concert on Broadway and then purchasing tickets for my parents to see her. Also, if you haven’t read “The Hornes: An American Family,” by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, then do so, it’s excellent and was published, I think, in 1986. Lena Horne had a very interesting, middle class upbringing with a grandma who laid the foundation for her activism in Civil Rights. (If I remember correctly, since I read the book 27 years ago!). Lena Horne was the definition of a strong individual who spoke her mind, took actions she thought were right, made mistakes along the way and didn’t let any one of them keep her down. Nor did she let society or members of society keep her down. She had a well- publicized marriage to Lennie Hayton, a Jewish composer, conductor and arranger…very difficult at the time to say the least and was kept secret in the beginning. Lena Horne endured many Stormy Weather days in her life due to prejudice, bias and racism, but kept on going! “You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.”-Lena Horne

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

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