Or…a night i’ll never forget!
Wonderful memories to me are gifts that are always there to pull upon when life or times get a little complicated. And this is one of my favorites. I try to make kaysnycways timely but I just couldn’t find the right time to share this memory until now. After reading that the Waldorf Astoria was going under a total renovation and would be closed for a few years, I said to myself now is the time and I finished the draft I had started. Remembering this night always lifts my spirits and in these chaotic times wonderful memories are indeed wonderful!
LENA’S RED HOT!
We were right at the edge of the dance floor at a very small cocktail table for two…waiting. It was the last night of Lena Horne’s run at the Empire Room. We were in our 20’s and it was our first time at such a fancy, elegant New York City supper club. We were wide-eyed and we were star struck not just for the excitement of seeing her, but also because we were surrounded by celebrities like Carol Burnett, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and the McGuire Sisters. When she came out and started to sing, all we did was look at each other with huge smiles! The evening was a surprise from my boyfriend (and future husband) and what an evening it was. Her rendition of “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” turned a bouncy melody into a sensual romp! As she went from one song to the next, everyone was spell-bound and the room would explode with applause, cheers and words of love after each. She took it all in with her usual aplomb as she waited till we became silent again before she moved on. What a night!
“FROM THIS MOMENT ON”
The amazing, beautiful, elegant Lena Horne never leaves us. We still hear her voice and see her thru her recordings, movies and TV taped appearances. . She was a native New Yorker born in Brooklyn (1917-2010) )and used her voice, her strength and her intellect to fight “against racism in the entertainment industry throughout her career and against racial discrimination in this country throughout her life. “*
Take the time to watch this documentary from PBS’s American Masters’ Series about Lena Horne on her struggles and triumphs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XBGs02Xne8
There is a new children’s picture book about her life as a performer and activist written by Carole Boston Weatherford, *”The Legendary Miss Lena Horne” published in February ( 2017). I discovered something I didn’t know from this bio, *Lena learned to read before kindergarten and books were her lifelong love. The cover of the book illustrates the dress she wore when she sang “Stormy Weather”.
Next May there will be a tribute to her at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Michael Feinstein’s Jazz and Popular Song Series.
I don’t want to get too sentimental here, but it occurred to me that we all, especially as we get older, have wonderful memories that help us get through our crazy lives. Those memories also seem to have a will of their own as they just suddenly decide to pop up, or a song plays and it triggers one, or you’re sitting there with a glass of wine, minding your own business, thinking of family and friends and there it is that memory that always makes you laugh out loud. And all the time those other wonderful memories just sit there in the back of our minds waiting their turn to be rekindled. Like my memory of Lena Horne – always there and always fresh.
Love this City and love Lena Horne!
Important to know: Google Lena Horne and read more about this amazing woman and what she accomplished.
“The Legendary Miss Lena Horne” – by Carole Boston Weatherford a children’s picture book on the life of Miss Horne both educational and inspiring with beautiful illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon. https://cbweatherford.com
May 2–3, 2018 | 7:00pm & 9:00pm | The Appel Room Michael Feinstein continues the Jazz & Popular Song series with a tribute to an American national treasure: “The Enchanting Lena Horne”. http://www.jazz.org/
Good to know: “Lena Horne at the Waldorf” is available on CD or to download with many of the songs she sang that night.
“Surrey With The Fringe on top” by Rodgers and Hammerstein
“Stormy Weather” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler
“From This Moment On” by Cole Porter
*Unfortunately I couldn’t find the source of this sentence I copied, so my apologies to the writer.
Photos courtesy of flickriver.com
Disclaimer: I try for correct info on my posts, but no guarantees people.