Sarah Lois Vaughan was an American jazz singer. Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One", she won four Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, she was given an NEA Jazz Masters Award in 1989. Critic Scott Yanow wrote that she had "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century". Vaughan's father, Asbury "Jake" Vaughan, played guitar and piano, her mother, Ada Vaughan, was a laundress. The Vaughans lived in a house on Brunswick Street in Newark for Vaughan's entire childhood. Jake was religious; the family was active in New Mount Zion Baptist Church at 186 Thomas Street. Vaughan began piano lessons at age 7, sang in the church choir, played piano for rehearsals and services, she developed an early love for popular music on the radio. In the 1930s, she saw local and touring bands at the Montgomery Street Skating Rink. By her mid-teens, she began venturing illegally into Newark's night clubs and performing as a pianist and singer at the Piccadilly Club and the Newark Airport. Vaughan attended East Side High School transferred to Newark Arts High School, which opened in 1931.
As her nocturnal adventures as a performer overwhelmed her academic pursuits, she dropped out of high school during her junior year to concentrate on music. Vaughan was accompanied by a friend, Doris Robinson, on her trips into New York City. In the fall of 1942, by which time she was 18 years old, Vaughan suggested that Robinson enter the Apollo Theater Amateur Night contest. Vaughan played piano accompaniment for Robinson. Vaughan decided to go back and compete as a singer herself, she sang "Body and Soul", won—although the date of this victorious performance is uncertain. The prize, as Vaughan recalled to Marian McPartland, was $10 and the promise of a week's engagement at the Apollo. On November 20, 1942, she returned to the Apollo to open for Ella Fitzgerald. During her week of performances at the Apollo, Vaughan was introduced to bandleader and pianist Earl Hines, although the details of that introduction are disputed. Billy Eckstine, Hines' singer at the time, has been credited by Vaughan and others with hearing her at the Apollo and recommending her to Hines.
Hines claimed to have discovered her himself and offered her a job on the spot. After a brief tryout at the Apollo, Hines replaced his female singer with Vaughan on April 4, 1943. Vaughan spent the remainder of 1943 and part of 1944 touring the country with the Earl Hines big band, which featured Billy Eckstine, she was hired as a pianist so Hines could hire her under the jurisdiction of the musicians' union rather than the singers union. But after Cliff Smalls joined the band as a trombonist and pianist, her duties were limited to singing; the Earl Hines band in this period is remembered as an incubator of bebop, as it included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, saxophonist Charlie Parker, trombonist Bennie Green. Gillespie arranged for the band, although the contemporary recording ban by the musicians' union meant that no commercial recordings exist. Eckstine quit the Hines band in late 1943 and formed a big band with Gillespie, leaving Hines to become the band's musical director. Parker joined Eckstine, over the next few years the band included Gene Ammons, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Lucky Thompson.
Vaughan accepted Eckstine's invitation to join his band in 1944, giving her the opportunity to record for the first time on December 5, 1944 on the song. "I'll Pray" for De Luxe. Critic and producer Leonard Feather asked her to record that month for Continental with a septet that included Dizzy Gillespie and Georgie Auld, she left the Eckstine band in late 1944 to pursue a solo career, although she remained close to Eckstine and recorded with him frequently. Pianist John Malachi is credited with giving Vaughan the moniker "Sassy", a nickname that matched her personality, she liked it, the name and its shortened variant "Sass" stuck with colleagues and the press. In written communications, Vaughan spelled it "Sassie". Vaughan began her solo career in 1945 by freelancing on 52nd Street in New York City at the Three Deuces, the Famous Door, the Downbeat, the Onyx Club, she spent time at Braddock Grill next to the Apollo Theater in Harlem. On May 11, 1945, she recorded "Lover Man" for Guild with a quintet featuring Gillespie and Parker with Al Haig on piano, Curly Russell on double bass, Sid Catlett on drums.
That month, she went into the studio with a different and larger Gillespie/Parker aggregation and recorded three more sides. After being invited by violinist Stuff Smith to record the song "Time and Again" in October, Vaughan was offered a contract to record for Musicraft by owner Albert Marx, although she would not begin recording as a leader for Musicraft until May 7, 1946. In the intervening time, she recorded for Crown and Gotham and began performing at Café Society Downtown, an integrated club in New York's Sheridan Square. While at Café Society, Vaughan became friends with trumpeter George Treadwell, who became her manager, she delegated to him most of the musical director responsibilities for her recording sessions, allowing her to concentrate on singing. Over the next few years, Treadwell made changes in Vaughan's stage appearance. Aside from a new wardrobe and hair style, she had her teeth capped, eliminating a gap between her two front teeth, her recordings for Musicraft included "If You Could See Me Now", "Don't Blame Me", "I've Got a Crush on You", "Everything I Have Is Yours" and "Body and Soul".
With Vaughan and
James Van Der Zee
James Van Der Zee was an African-American photographer best known for his portraits of black New Yorkers. He was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Aside from the artistic merits of his work, Van Der Zee produced the most comprehensive documentation of the period. Among his most famous subjects during this time were Marcus Garvey, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Countee Cullen. Van Der Zee made his first photographs as a boy in Massachusetts, he bought his first camera when he was a teenager, improvised a darkroom in his parents' home. In 1905, he moved with his father and brother to Harlem in New York City, where he worked as a waiter and elevator operator. In 1915, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he took a job in a portrait studio, first as a darkroom assistant and as a portraitist, he returned to Harlem the following year, setting up a studio at the Toussaint Conservatory of Art and Music that his sister, Jennie Louise Van de Zee known as Madame E Toussaint had founded in 1911.
In 1916, he and his second wife, Gaynella Greenlee, launched the Guarantee Photo Studio on West 125th Street in Harlem. His business boomed during World War I, the portraits he shot from this period until 1945 have demanded the majority of critical attention. In 1919, he photographed the victory parade of the returning 369th Infantry Regiment, a predominantly African American unit sometimes called the "Harlem Hellfighters." During the 1920s and 1930s, he produced hundreds of photographs recording Harlem's growing middle class. Its residents entrusted the visual documentation of their weddings, funerals and sports stars, social life to his composed images. Among his many renowned subjects were poet Countee Cullen, dancer Bill Robinson, Charles M. "Daddy" Grace, Joe Louis, Florence Mills, black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Van Der Zee worked predominantly in the studio and used a variety of props, including architectural elements and costumes, to achieve stylized tableaux vivant in keeping with late Victorian and Edwardian visual traditions.
Sitters copied celebrities of the 1920s and 1930s in their poses and expressions, he retouched negatives and prints to achieve an aura of glamour. He created funeral photographs between the wars; these works were collected in The Harlem Book of the Dead, with a foreword by Toni Morrison. In the spring and summer of 1924, Van Der Zee worked to document the members and activities of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, he took thousands of photographs on this assignment, some of which were featured in a calendar issued to members in 1925. Fulfilling Garvey's wishes, Van Der Zee's job was to project a positive image of the Association to emphasize the strength and social standing of its membership, the so-called Garveyites. Nowhere in Van Der Zee's visual record was there any hint of the controversy surrounding Garvey in the early 1920s, a period when the leader was subject to public interrogation, quarrels with the writer and philosopher W. E. B. DuBois, legal proceedings against him on charges of mail fraud.
In 1969, Van Der Zee gained worldwide recognition when his work was featured in the exhibition Harlem on My Mind at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His inclusion in the exhibition was somewhat by accident. In December 1967, a researcher for the exhibition, Reginald McGhee, came across Van Der Zee's Harlem studio and asked if he happened to have any photographs from the 1920s and 30s. In a story recounted by photo historian Rodger C. Birt, Van Der Zee showed him the boxes of negatives he had kept from this period; these photographs would become the core of Harlem on My Mind—and the feature of the exhibit that critics praised as the show's biggest revelation. As art historian Sharon Patton observed, Van Der Zee not only documented the Harlem Renaissance, but helped create it. Harlem on My Mind marked a controversy between the Met and a number of practicing artists living and working and Harlem. Painters including Romare Bearden and Benny Andrews protested the show for its emphasis on social history and experience, at the expense—as they viewed it—of interest in the artistic legacy of black New York artists.
On opening day, a picket line formed in front of the Met. Andrews carried a sign reading: "Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Photography." Works by Van Der Zee are artistic as well as technically proficient. His work was in high demand, in part due to his experimentation and skill in double exposures and in retouching negatives of children. One theme that recurs in his photographs was the emergent black middle class, which he captured using traditional techniques in idealistic images. Negatives were retouched to show an aura of perfection; this affected the likeness of the person photographed, but he felt each photo should transcend the subject. His posed family portraits reveal that the family unit was an important aspect of Van Der Zee's life. "I tried to see that every picture was better-looking than the person... I had one woman come to say'Mr. VanDerZee my friends tell that's a nice picture, but it doesn't look like you.' That was my style". Van Der Zee sometimes combined several photos in one image, for example by adding a ghostly child to an image of a wedding to suggest the couple's future, or by superimposing a funeral image upon a photograph of a dead woman to give the feeling of her eerie presence.
Van Der Zee said, "I wanted to make the camera take what I thought should be there."Van Der Zee was a working photographer who supported himself through portraiture, he devoted time to his professional work before his more artis
The Homestead Grays were a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues in the United States. The team was formed in 1912 by Cumberland Posey, remained in continuous operation for 38 seasons; the team was based in Homestead, adjacent to Pittsburgh. By the 1920s, with increasing popularity in the Pittsburgh region, the team retained the name "Homestead" but crossed the Monongahela River to play all home games in Pittsburgh, at the Pittsburgh Pirates' home Forbes Field and the Pittsburgh Crawfords' home Greenlee Field. From 1940 until 1942, the Grays played half of their home games in Washington, D. C. while remaining in Pittsburgh for all other home stands. As attendance at their games in the nation's capital grew, by 1943, the Grays were playing more than two-thirds of their home games in Washington; the Grays grew out of an earlier industrial team. In 1900, a group of African-American players had joined together to form the Germantown Blue Ribbons, an industrial league team. For ten years, the Blue Ribbons fielded a team every season and played some of the best sandlot teams in the area.
In 1910, the managers of the team retired. The players named themselves the Murdock Grays. In 1912, they became the Homestead Grays, the name they retained for the remainder of the franchise's history; the Grays did join the American Negro League in 1929. The team operated independently again until 1932, when Posey organized the ill-fated East-West League. Posey entered his Grays in the Negro National League in 1935. With the near-collapse of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, Josh Gibson returned to the Grays in 1937, combining with slugger Buck Leonard to power the Grays to nine consecutive Negro National League Championships and three Negro League World Series titles. Vic Harris managed the Grays during their years in league play, between 1935 and 1948, piloted Homestead to eight pennants, he guided his team to six consecutive pennants from 1937 through 1942. The 1943 and 1944 NLWS titles came under Candy Jim Taylor. Pittsburgh Steelers founder and owner Art Rooney related in a 1981 interview that he "from time to time" had "helped financially support the Negro League team, the Homestead Grays, and... was a better baseball fan than football fan."
Following the collapse of the Negro National League after the 1948 season, the Grays struggled to continue as an independent club, disbanded in May 1951. From the late 1930s through the 1940s, the Grays played their home games at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, during this same period the club adopted the Washington, D. C. area as its "home away from home" and scheduled many of its "home" games at D. C.'s the home park of the Washington Senators. During these games, they were alternatively known as the Washington Grays or Washington Homestead Grays; these Homestead Grays alumni have been inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Cool Papa Bell, OF Inducted, 1974 Ray Brown, P Inducted, 2006 Oscar Charleston, OF Inducted, 1976 Martín Dihigo, P Inducted, 1977 Bill Foster, P Inducted, 1996 Josh Gibson, C Inducted, 1972 Judy Johnson, 3B Inducted, 1975 Buck Leonard 1B Inducted, 1972 Cum Posey, Founder-Owner Inducted, 2006 Willie Wells, SS Inducted, 1997 Smokey Joe Williams, P Inducted, 1999 Jud Wilson, 3B Inducted, 2006 On July 11, 2002, the Homestead High-Level Bridge which connects Pittsburgh to Homestead over the Monongahela River at Homestead was renamed the Homestead Grays Bridge in honor of the team.
When the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, "Grays" was one of the three finalists for the relocated team's new name, reflecting Washington's baseball history. The Nationals′ home field, Nationals Park, includes numerous references to the Grays: The "Ring of Honor" on the facade behind home plate lists the names of Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cum Posey, Jud Wilson, players from the Nationals, original Washington Senators of 1901-1960, expansion Washington Senators of 1961-1971; the Ring honors players who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and had played "significant years" for at least one of the teams or "anyone who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Washington, D. C." All six Grays players were among the original 18 inductees to the Ring of Honor when it was unveiled on August 10, 2010. The multi-sport Washington Hall of Stars display in the outfield features Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. A statue of Josh Gibson stands near the center field gate.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals have worn Homestead Grays throwback uniforms in official Major League Baseball games several different times: PiratesMay 20, 2006, in Cleveland, the Pirates and Cleveland Indians wore the uniforms of the Grays and the Cleveland Buckeyes. August 11, 2006, in Pittsburgh, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates wore uniforms of the St. Louis Stars and Grays. June 26, 2009, in Pittsburgh, the Pirates and the Kansas City Royals wore uniforms of the Homestead Grays and the Kansas City Monarchs. July 23, 2011, in Pittsburgh, the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals wore uniforms of the Homestead Grays and the St. Louis Stars. June 9, 2012, in Pittsb
Joseph Louis Barrow, best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights; the 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 title defenses, second only to Julio César Chávez with 27. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring, he is regarded as the first person of African American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, was a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II.
He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952. Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, former home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Joe Louis "The Champ" Golf Course, situated south of Chicago in Riverdale, are named in his honor. Born in rural Chambers County, Louis was the seventh of eight children of Munroe Barrow and Lillie Barrow, he weighed 11 pounds at birth. Both of his parents were children of former slaves, alternating between sharecropping and rental farming. Munroe was predominantly African American, with some white ancestry. Louis spent 12 years growing up in rural Alabama, he suffered from a speech impediment and spoke little until about the age of six. Munroe Barrow was committed to a mental institution in 1916 and, as a result, Joe knew little of his biological father. Around 1920, Louis's mother married Pat Brooks, a local construction contractor, having received word that Munroe Barrow had died while institutionalized.
In 1926, shaken by a gang of white men in the Ku Klux Klan, Louis's family moved to Detroit, forming part of the post-World War I Great Migration. Joe's brother worked for Ford Motor Company and the family settled into a home at 2700 Catherine Street in Detroit's Black Bottom neighborhood. Louis attended Bronson Vocational School for a time to learn cabinet-making; the Great Depression hit the Barrow family hard, but as an alternative to gang activity, Joe began to spend time at a local youth recreation center at 637 Brewster Street in Detroit. His mother attempted to get him interested in playing the violin. Legend has it that he tried to hide his pugilistic ambitions from his mother by carrying his boxing gloves inside his violin case. Louis made his debut in early 1932 at the age of 17. Legend has it that before the fight, the literate Louis wrote his name so large that there was no room for his last name, thus became known as "Joe Louis" for the remainder of his boxing career. More Louis omitted his last name to keep his boxing a secret from his mother.
After this debut—a loss to future Olympian Johnny Miler—Louis compiled numerous amateur victories winning the club championship of his Brewster Street recreation centre, the home of many aspiring Golden Gloves fighters. In 1933, Louis won the Detroit-area Golden Gloves Novice Division championship against Joe Biskey for the light heavyweight classification, he lost in the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions. The next year, competing in the Golden Gloves' Open Division, he won the light heavyweight classification, this time winning the Chicago Tournament of Champions. However, a hand injury forced Louis to miss the New York/Chicago Champions' cross-town bout for the ultimate Golden Gloves championship. In April 1934, he followed up his Chicago performance by winning the United States Amateur Champion National AAU tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. By the end of his amateur career, Louis's record was 50–3, with 43 knockouts. Joe Louis had 69 professional fights with only three losses.
He tallied 52 knockouts and held the championship from 1937 to 1949, the longest span of any heavyweight titleholder. After returning from retirement, Louis failed to regain the championship in 1950, his career ended after he was knocked out by Rocky Marciano in 1951; the man, called the Brown Bomber was finished. Louis's amateur performances attracted the interest of professional promoters, he was soon represented by a black Detroit-area bookmaker named John Roxborough; as Louis explained in his autobiography, Roxborough convinced the young fighter that white managers would have no real interest in seeing a black boxer work his way up to title contention: told me about the fate of most black fighters, ones with white managers, who wound up burned-out and broke before they reached their prime. The white managers were not interested in the men they were handling but in the money they could make from them, they didn't take the proper time to see that their fighters had a proper training, that they lived comfortably, or ate well, or had some pocket change.
Mr. Roxborough was talking about Black Power. Roxborough knew a C
Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2018, a population of 308,144 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U. S; the metropolitan population of 2,362,453, is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania, the 26th-largest in the U. S. Pittsburgh is located in the south west of the state, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers. Pittsburgh is known both as "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges; the city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Whiskey Rebels, Civil War raiders. Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, shipbuilding, foods, transportation, computing and electronics.
For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment. S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out; this heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, research centers, a diverse cultural district. Today, Apple Inc. Bosch, Uber, Autodesk, Microsoft and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, energy research and the nuclear navy; the area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The nation's eighth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, six of the top 300 U. S. law firms make their global headquarters in the area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, FedEx, Bayer and NIOSH have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.
S. job growth. In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the "eleven most livable cities in the world"; the region is a hub for Environmental Design and energy extraction. In 2019, Pittsburgh was deemed “Food City of the Year” by the San Francisco-based restaurant and hospitality consulting firm af&co. Many restaurants were mentioned favorable, among them were Superior Motors in Braddock, Driftwood Oven in Lawrenceville, Spork in Bloomfield, Fish nor Fowl in Garfield and Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette in Bloomfield. Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham; as Forbes was a Scot, he pronounced the name PITS-bər-ə. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a borough on April 22, 1794, with the following Act: "Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania... by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be... erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."
From 1891 to 1911, the city's name was federally recognized as "Pittsburg", though use of the final h was retained during this period by the city government and other local organizations. After a public campaign, the federal decision to drop the h was reversed; the area of the Ohio headwaters was long inhabited by the Shawnee and several other settled groups of Native Americans. The first known European to enter the region was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle from Quebec during his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River. European pioneers Dutch, followed in the early 18th century. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, that year European fur traders established area posts and settlements. In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched an expedition to the forks to unite Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off; the French built Fort Duquesne based on LaSalle's 1669 claims.
The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center. British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Major George Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne; the British and colonial force were defeated at Braddock's Field. General John Forbes took the forks in 1758. Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough". During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run. Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare. Lord Jeffery Amherst ordered blankets contaminated from smallpox victims to be distributed in 1763 to the tribes surrounding the fort; the disease spread into other areas, infected other tribes, killed hundreds of thousands. During this period, the powerful nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York, had maintained control of much of the Ohio Valley as hunting grounds by right of conquest after defeating other tribes.
By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years appearing in film and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood. Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963 and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television while releasing well-received record albums, she announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway. She toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000. Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010, at the age of 92. Lena Horne was born in Bedford -- Brooklyn, she was descended from the John C. Calhoun family, both sides of her family were a mixture of African-American, Native American, European American descent and belonged to the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated people.
Her father, Edwin Fletcher "Teddy" Horne Jr. a numbers kingpin in the gambling trade, left the family when she was three and moved to an upper-middle-class black community in the Hill District community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Edna Louise Scottron, was a granddaughter of inventor Samuel R. Scottron. Edna's maternal grandmother, Amelie Louise Ashton, was a Senegalese slave. Horne was raised by her grandparents, Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne; when Horne was five, she was sent to live in Georgia. For several years, she traveled with her mother. From 1927 to 1929, she lived with her uncle, Frank S. Horne, dean of students at Fort Valley Junior Industrial Institute in Fort Valley, who served as an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From Fort Valley, southwest of Macon, Horne moved to Atlanta with her mother, she attended Girls High School, an all-girls public high school in Brooklyn that has since become Boys and Girls High School. Aged 18, she moved to her father's home in Pittsburgh, staying in the city's Little Harlem for five years and learning from native Pittsburghers Billy Strayhorn and Billy Eckstine, among others.
In the fall of 1933, Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City. In the spring of 1934, she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade starring Adelaide Hall, who took Lena under her wing. A few years Horne joined Noble Sissle's Orchestra, with which she toured and with whom she made her first records, issued by Decca. After she separated from her first husband, Horne 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 for RCA Victor. Horne left the show after only six months when she was hired by former Cafe Trocadero manager Felix Young to perform in a Cotton Club-style revue on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Horne had two low-budget movies to her credit: a 1938 musical feature called The Duke is Tops.
Horne's songs from Boogie Woogie Dream were released individually as soundies. Horne made her Hollywood nightclub debut at Felix Young's Little Troc on the Sunset Strip in January 1942. A few weeks she was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In November 1944, she was featured in an episode of the popular radio series Suspense, as a fictional nightclub singer, with a large speaking role along with her singing. In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, she made her debut at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Panama Hattie and performed the title song of Stormy Weather based loosely on the life of Adelaide Hall, which she made at 20th Century Fox, on loan from MGM. She appeared in a number of MGM musicals, most notably Cabin in the Sky, but was never featured in a leading role because of her race and the fact that her films had to be re-edited for showing in cities where theaters would not show films with black performers; as a result, 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.
A notable exception was the all-black musical Cabin in the Sky, although one number from that film 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 which featured commentary from Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film's release. Lena Horne was the first African-American elected to serve on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors. In Ziegfeld Follies, she performed "Love" by Ralph Blane. Horne lobbied for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM's 1951 version of Show Boat but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a personal friend in real life. H