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02 July 2024

(Until 02 July)

Lena Horne, Singer, Actor, Activist – Phantom Dancer

Phantom Dancer Radio Show

Lena Horne was an American singer, actor, dancer, and civil rights activist. Her career spanned more than seventy years and covered film, television, and theatre. She recorded and performed into the 1990s, retiring from public view in 2000. She’s your Phantom Dancer featured artist this week.

The Phantom Dancer is your weekly non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV every week.

LISTEN to this week’s Phantom Dancer mix (online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 2 July) and weeks of Phantom Dancer mixes online at, at https://2ser.com/phantom-dancer/

LENA

Lena Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City in 1933. Next year she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade starring Adelaide Hall, who took Lena under her wing.

Horne made her first screen appearance as a dancer in the musical short Cab Calloway’s Jitterbug Party (1935).

A few years later, she toured with Noble Sissle’s Orchestra and made her first records.

She toured with bandleader Charlie Barnet in 1940–41, but disliked the travel and left the band to work at the Cafe Society in New York.

She replaced Dinah Shore as the featured vocalist on NBC’s popular jazz series The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. The show’s resident maestros, Henry Levine and Paul Laval, recorded with Horne in June 1941.

Horne left the show when she was hired to perform in a Cotton Club-style revue on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra.

MOVIES

In 1938 Horne was cast in the musical feature called The Duke is Tops,, later reissued with Horne’s name above the title as The Bronze Venus.

In 1941 she was in the short, Boogie Woogie Dream, featuring pianists Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. Her songs in the short were later released individually as soundies.

She was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first film was Panama Hattie (1942).

She sang the title song of Stormy Weather (1943) based loosely on the life of Adelaide Hall, for 20th Century Fox, while on loan from MGM. She appeared in several MGM musicals, including Cabin in the Sky (1943).

Most of Horne’s film appearances were stand-alone sequences that had no bearing on the rest of the film, so editing caused no disruption to the storyline. One number from Cabin in the Sky was cut before release because it was considered too suggestive by the censors: Horne singing “Ain’t It the Truth” while taking a bubble bath. This scene and song are featured in the film That’s Entertainment! III (1994), which also featured commentary from Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film’s release.

Horne was the first African-American person elected to serve on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors.

In Ziegfeld Follies (1946), she performed “Love” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Horne lobbied for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM’s version of Show Boat (1951), having already played the role when a segment of Show Boat was performed in Till the Clouds Roll By, but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a friend in real life. In the documentary That’s Entertainment! III, Horne stated that MGM executives required Gardner to practice her singing using Horne’s recordings, which offended both actresses. Ultimately, Gardner’s voice was overdubbed by actress Annette Warren (Smith) for the theatrical release.

Horne became disenchanted with Hollywood and increasingly focused on her nightclub career. She made only two major appearances for MGM during the 1950s: Duchess of Idaho (1950), which was also Eleanor Powell’s final film); and the musical Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956).

She returned to the screen, playing Claire Quintana, a madam in a brothel who marries Richard Widmark, in the film Death of a Gunfighter (1969), her first straight dramatic role with no reference to her colour.

She was Glinda in The Wiz (1978), which was directed by her then son-in-law Sidney Lumet, and co-hosting the MGM retrospective That’s Entertainment! III (1994), in which she related her unkind treatment by the studio.

POST-HOLLYWOOD

Horne established herself as one of the premier nightclub performers of the post-war era. She headlined at clubs and hotels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Her 1957 live album, Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria, became the biggest-selling record by a female artist in the history of the RCA Victor label at that time.

In 1958, Horne became the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Tony Award for “Best Actress in a Musical”, for her part in the “Calypso” musical Jamaica (which, at Horne’s request featured her longtime friend Adelaide Hall).

From the late 1950s through to the 1960s, Horne was a staple of TV variety shows.

In 1970, she co-starred with Harry Belafonte in the hour-long Harry & Lena special and in 1973, she co-starred with Tony Bennett in Tony and Lena. Horne and Bennett subsequently toured the U.S. and U.K. in a show together. From 1976 – 80 she appeared in many TV variety shows.

On April 13, 1980, Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, and host Gene Kelly were all scheduled to appear at a Gala performance at the Metropolitan Opera House to salute the NY City Center’s Joffrey Ballet Company. However, Pavarotti’s plane was diverted over the Atlantic and he was unable to appear.

James Nederlander was an invited Honored Guest and observed that only three people at the sold-out Metropolitan Opera House asked for their money back. He asked to be introduced to Horne following her performance. In May 1981, The Nederlander Organization, Michael Frazier, and Fred Walker went on to book Horne for a four-week engagement at the newly named Nederlander Theatre on West 41st Street in New York City. The show was an instant success and was extended to a full year run, garnering Horne a special Tony award, and two Grammy Awards for the cast recording of her show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. The 333-performance Broadway run closed on Horne’s 65th birthday, June 30, 1982.

Later that same week, she performed the entire show again to record it for television broadcast and home video release. Horne began a tour a few days later at Tanglewood (Massachusetts) during the weekend of July 4, 1982. The Lady and Her Music toured 41 cities in the U.S. and Canada until June 17, 1984. It played in London for a month in August and ended its run in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 1984. In 1981, she received a Special Tony Award for the show, which also played to acclaim at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1984.

Horne holds the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history.

A proposed 1983 joint recording project between Horne and Frank Sinatra (to be produced by Quincy Jones) was ultimately abandoned, and her sole studio recording of the decade was 1988’s The Men in My Life, featuring duets with Sammy Davis Jr. and Joe Williams. In 1989, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1995, a “live” album capturing Horne’s Supper Club performance was released (subsequently winning a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album). In 1998, Horne released another studio album, entitled Being Myself. Thereafter, Horne retired from performing and largely retreated from public view, though she did return to the recording studio in 2000 to contribute vocal tracks on Simon Rattle’s Classic Ellington album.

2 July PLAY LIST

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
LISTEN ONLINE
Community Radio Network Show CRN #661

107.3 2SER Tuesday 2 July 2024
12:04 – 2:00pm (+10 hours GMT)
National Program
5UV Adelaide Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
5GTR Mt Gambier Monday 2:30 – 3:30am
3MBR Murrayville Monday 3 – 4am
4NAG Keppel FM Monday 3 – 4am
2MIA Griffith Monday 3 – 4am
2BAR Edge FM Bega Monday 3 – 4am
2BRW Braidwood Monday 3 – 4am
2YYY Young Monday 3 – 4am
7RPH Hobart Monday 3 – 4pm
3VKV Alpine Radio Monday 6 – 7pm
7MID Oatlands Monday 3am – 4 and 6 -7pm
2MCE Bathurst Thursday 9 – 10am
1ART ArtsoundFM Canberra Friday 10 – 11am
and Sunday 11pm
Reading Radio (QLD) Friday 1am – 2
2RRR Ryde Friday 11am – 12
2ARM Armidale Friday 12 – 1pm
5LCM Lofty FM Adelaide Friday 1 – 2pm
6GME Radio Goolarri Broome Saturday 4am – 5am
Denmark FM (West Australia) Saturday 10 – 11am
Repeat: Wednesdays 10 – 11pm
7LTN Launceston Sunday 5 – 6am
3MGB Mallacoota Sunday 5 – 6am
3BBR West Gippsland Sunday 5 – 6pm
2SEA Sapphire Coast Eden Sunday 9 – 10pm

Set 1
Stan Kenton
Swinghouse + Opus in Pastels
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Sweets Ballroom
Oakland
KNBC NBC San Francisco
17 Feb 1953
Minor Riff + All the Things You Are
Stan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Sweets Ballroom
Oakland
KNBC NBC San Francisco
17 Feb 1953
SomnambulismStan Kenton Orchestra
‘Concert in Miniature’
Sweets Ballroom
Oakland
KNBC NBC San Francisco
17 Feb 1953
Jump for Joe + Artistry in Rhythm (theme)Stan Kenton Orchestra‘Concert in Miniature’
Sweets Ballroom
Oakland
KNBC NBC San Francisco
17 Feb 1953
Set 2
Anson Weeks
Ooh That Kiss
Anson Weeks Orchestra (voc) Pete Fylling
Radio Transcription
Peacock Court
Hotel Mark Hopkins
San Francisco
1932
Ravel’s Bolero
Anson Weeks Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Peacock Court
Hotel Mark Hopkins
San Francisco
1932
Medey
Anson Weeks Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Peacock Court
Hotel Mark Hopkins
San Francisco
1932
Oh! Ah!
Anson Weeks Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Peacock Court
Hotel Mark Hopkins
San Francisco
1932
Set 3
Lena Horne
As Long as I Live
Lena Horne (voc) Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Deed I Do
Lena Horne (voc) Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Deed I Do
Lena Horne (voc) Billy Eckstine Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1945
Mad About the Boy
Lena Horne (voc) Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
‘Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1944
Set 4
Ben Bernie
Open + Cirribirribin
Ben Bernie Orchestra
‘Bromo-Seltzer Show’
WJZ NBC Blue NYC
11 Feb 1941
Boogie Woogie To You
Ben Bernie Orchestra (voc) Bailey Sisters
‘Bromo-Seltzer Show’
WJZ NBC Blue NYC
11 Feb 1941
You Walked By
Ben Bernie Orchestra (voc) Carol Bruce
‘Bromo-Seltzer Show’
WJZ NBC Blue NYC
11 Feb 1941
Au Revoir + Close
Ben Bernie Orchestra
‘Bromo-Seltzer Show’
WJZ NBC Blue NYC
11 Feb 1941
Set 5
Harry James
Just Lucky
Harry James OrchestraEl Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
How Long Has This Been Going On? + I’m Beginning to See the Light
Harry James Orchestra (voc) Ann Garner
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
El Hoyo Negro
Harry James Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Two O’Clock Jump
Harry James Orchestra
El Patio Ballroom
KCBS San Francisco
20 May 1961
Set 6
Bunny Berrigan 1938
I’ll Always Be in Love With You
Benny Berrigan Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1938
Whistle While You Work
Benny Berrigan Orchestra (voc) Gail Reese
Aircheck
1938
Sing You Sinners
Benny Berrigan Orchestra
Radio Transcription
1938
Shanghai Shuffle
Benny Berrigan Orchestra
Aircheck
1938
Set 7
Tommy Dorsey
Blues is the Night
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Red
26 Nov 1940
Funny Little Pedro
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Pied Pipers
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Red
26 Nov 1940
That’s How it Goes
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (voc) Frank Sinatra, Connie Haines, The Pied Pipers)
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Red
26 Nov 1940
Loosers Weepers
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KFI NBC Red
26 Nov 1940
Set 8
Modern Jazz
He’s Funny That WayBillie HollidayStoryville Club
WHDH Boston
31 Oct 1951
How High the MoonBillie Holliday
Storyville Club
WHDH Boston
31 Oct 1951
SabrosoSlim Gaillard‘Symphony Sid Show’
Birdland
WJZ ABC NYC
7 Jul 1951
All Gigs
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Radio 107.3 2SER Sydney
Directions

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