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Best of Lena Horne

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Album Review

In 1965, Lena Horne signed to United Artists Records, for which she recorded four albums in two years: Feelin' Good, Lena in Hollywood, Soul, and the Christmas collection Merry From Lena. This brief, budget-priced compilation is drawn from the first two of those albums. Of course, it does not live up to its title. Nor does it correspond to the description in Don Ovens' short, unreliable biography ("This collection features much of the music that was popular during Lena's movie days" is a false statement). What it does contain are Horne's interpretations of some of the well-remembered Hollywood and Broadway songs of the 1950s and '60s, such as "Moon River," "Who Can I Turn To," and "Never on Sunday." The mid-'60s were a difficult time for her as a performer, with musical tastes changing radically as she approached the age of 50 still wanting to sing songs like Cole Porter's "I Love Paris." On her UA recordings, she demonstrated that she still had something to contribute musically, and this sliver of that work is credible, even if it is hardly the "best of Lena Horne."

Biography

Born: 30 June 1917 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Singer/actress Lena Horne's primary occupation was nightclub entertaining, a profession she pursued successfully around the world for more than 60 years, from the 1930s to the 1990s. In conjunction with her club work, she also maintained a recording career that stretched from 1936 to 2000 and brought her three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989; she appeared in 16 feature films and several shorts between 1938 and 1978; she performed occasionally on Broadway, including in her...
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Best of Lena Horne, Lena Horne
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