Picture a Halle Berry beauty who could sing, a Beyonce who couldn’t buy a cup of coffee in pre-Civil Rights era America, and you begin to get a take on Lena Horne.
She came up dazzling out of Harlem’s Cotton Club, and she was the first black performer to sign a longterm contract with a major Hollywood studio.
Then she saw her parts clipped out in Southern theaters, and the role she most wanted go to Ava Gardner in brown face.
When Lena Horne sang “Stormy Weather,” she knew what she was singing about. This week, she died at 92.
This Hour, On Point: the life and art of Lena Horne.
Renee Graham, music critic and former pop culture correpondent for the Boston Globe.
Maya Angelou, one of America’s most renowned writers and poets. She is professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University and author of numerous books, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Her latest book is “Letter to My Daughter.”
Here’s a playlist for the songs aired during this hour:
“Just One of Those Things”
“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”
“Love of My Life”
“I Got Rhythm”
“I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face”
“I Got a Name”