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Of course you know by now, we are in the process of celebrating Womens' History Month. Everyday we are sending out VIDEO EMAIL TRIBUTES honoring the women who have made major impacts on our history!

So far, we've honored, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, a spoken word tribute dedicated to our foremothers,The Queen of Gospel, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Ella Fitzgerald, Harriet Tubman, Althea Gbison, The Clark Sisters, Michelle Obama, Etta James, Madam CJ Walker, Patti LaBelle and today...............Lena Horne!!!

If you would like to be part of our VIDEO EMAIL GROUP, send me a quick note with your email address and you will be added.

If you already are in the group, check your inbox......they are all there. If you have missed or deleted any, we will resend at your request. Due to the high volume of requests, there is currently a 2-day delay. Thanks for your patience!

Lena Horne
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (born June 30, 1917) is an American singer and actress. She has recorded and performed extensively, independently and with other jazz notables, including Artie Shaw, Teddy Wilson, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet, Benny Carter, and Billy Eckstine. She currently lives in New York City and no longer makes public appearances.

Early years
Lena Horne was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. Both sides of her family claim a mixture of African American, Native American, and Caucasian descent. Both were part of what W.E.B. DuBois called "the talented tenth," the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated African Americans. She grew up in an upper middle class black community. Her father, Edwin "Teddy" Horne, who worked in the gambling trade, left the family when she was three. Her mother, Edna Scottron, was the daughter of inventor Samuel R. Scottron; she was an actress with an African American theater troupe and traveled extensively. Horne was mainly raised by her grandparents, Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne. Her uncle, Frank S. Horne, was an adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She is a reported descendant of the John C. Calhoun family.

In the fall of 1933, Lena 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. A few years later she joined Noble Sissle's Orchestra and toured with this orchestra. After she separated from her first husband, Lena 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 to headline a nightclub revue on the west coast; she was replaced by Linda Keene.

Lena Horne already had two low-budget movies to her credit: a 1938 musical feature called The Duke is Tops (later reissued with Horne's name above the title as The Bronze Venus); and a 1941 two-reel short subject, Boogie Woogie Dream, featuring pianists Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. Horne's songs from Boogie Woogie Dream were later released individually as Soundies. Horne was primarily a nightclub performer during this period, and it was during a 1942 club engagement in Hollywood that talent scouts approached Horne to work in pictures. She chose Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the most prestigious studio in the world, and became the first African American performer to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio.

She made her debut with MGM in 1942's Panama Hattie and became famous in 1943 for her rendition of "Stormy Weather" in the movie of the same name (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 (also 1943), but was never featured in a leading role due to her race and the fact that films featuring her had to be reedited for showing in states where theaters could not show films with African American 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, though even then one of her numbers had to be cut because it was considered too suggestive by the censors. "Ain't it the Truth" was the song (and scene) cut before the release of the film Cabin in the Sky. It featured Lena Horne singing "Ain't it the Truth," while taking a bubble bath (considered too "risque" by the film's executives). This scene and song are featured in the film "That's Entertainment III", which also features commentary from Lena Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film's release.

In Ziegfeld Follies (1946) she performs "Love" by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.

Horne wanted to be considered for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM's 1951 version of Show Boat (having already played the role when a segment of Show Boat was performed in Till the Clouds Roll By) but Ava Gardner was hired to play the part (the production code office had banned interracial relationships in films). In the documentary That's Entertainment! III Horne stated that MGM executives required Gardner to practice her singing using recordings of Horne performing the songs, which offended both actresses (ultimately, Gardner ended up having her singing voice overdubbed by another actress (Annette Warren (Smith)) for the theatrical release, though her own voice was heard on the soundtrack album).

Changes of direction
By the mid-1950s, Horne was disenchanted with Hollywood and increasingly focused on her nightclub career. She only made two major appearances in MGM films during the decade, 1950's Duchess of Idaho (which was also Eleanor Powell's film swan song), and the 1956 musical Meet Me in Las Vegas. She was blacklisted during the 1950s for her political views. She returned to the screen three more times, playing chanteuse Claire Quintana in the 1969 film Death of a Gunfighter, Glinda in The Wiz (1978), and co-hosting the 1994 MGM retrospective That's Entertainment! III, in which she was candid about her treatment by the studio.

After leaving Hollywood, Lena Horne established herself as one of the premiere nightclub performers of the post-war era. She headlined at clubs and hotels throughout the US, Canada and Europe, including the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. In 1957, a live album entitled, "Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria," became the largest selling record by a female artist in the history of the RCA-Victor label.

From the late 1950s through the 1960s, Horne was a staple of TV variety shows, appearing multiple times on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, Ed Sullivan, The Dean Martin Show and The Bell Telephone Hour. Other programs included, The Judy Garland Show, The Hollywood Palace and The Andy Williams Show. Besides two television specials for the BBC (later syndicated in the US), Horne starred in her own US television special in 1969, Monsanto Night Presents Lena Horne. In 1970, she co-starred with Harry Belafonte in the hour long "Harry & Lena" for ABC; in 1973, she co-starred with Tony Bennett in "Tony and Lena." Horne and Bennett subsequently toured the US and UK in a show together. A very memorable appearance was in the 1976 program "America Salutes Richard Rodgers," where she sang a lengthy medley of Rodgers songs with Peggy Lee and Vic Damone. Horne also made several appearances on The Flip Wilson Show.

Additionally, Horne played herself on television programs as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Sanford and Son in the 1970s, as well as a 1985 performance on The Cosby Show and a 1993 appearance on A Different World.

Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941In the summer of 1980, Lena Horne, 63 years old and intent on retiring from show business, embarked on a two month series of benefit concerts sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta. These concerts were represented as Horne's farewell tour, yet her retirement lasted less than a year.

In May 1981, The Nederlander Organization booked Lena Horne for a four week engagement at the newly named Nederlander Theatre (formerly the Trafalgar, the Billy Rose and the National) 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 65 birthday, June 30, 1982. Later that same week, the entire show was performed again and video taped for television broadcast and home video release. The tour began a few days later at Tanglewood (MA) during the 1982 July 4th weekend. "The Lady and Her Music" toured 41 cities in the U.S and Canada through June 17, 1984. It played in London for a month in August and ended its run in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 1984.

In 1958, Horne was nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Actress in a Musical" (for her part in the "Calypso" musical Jamaica) In 1981 she received a Special Tony Award for her one-woman show, Lena Horne: "The Lady and Her Music". Despite the show's considerable success (Horne still holds the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history), she did not capitalize on the renewed interest in her career by undertaking many new musical projects. 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.

The 1990s found Horne considerably more active in the recording studio - all the more remarkable considering she was approaching her 80th year. Following her 1993 performance at a tribute to the musical legacy of her good friend Billy Strayhorn (Duke Ellington's longtime pianist and arranger), she decided to record an album composed largely of Strayhorn's and Ellington's songs the following year, We'll Be Together Again. To coincide with the release of the album, Horne made what would be her final concert performances at New York's Supper Club and Carnegie Hall. That same year, Horne also lent her vocals to a recording of "Embraceable You" on Sinatra's "Duets II" album. Though the album was largely derided by critics, the Sinatra-Horne pairing was generally regarded as its highlight. In 1995, a "live" album capturing her Supper Club performance was released (subsequently winning a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album). In 1998, at the age of 81, Horne released another studio album, entitled Being Myself. Thereafter, Horne essentially 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.

Civil rights activism
Horne also is noteworthy for her contributions to the Civil Rights movement. In 1941, she sang at Cafe Society and worked with Paul Robeson, a singer who also combated American racial discrimination. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform "for segregated audiences or to groups in which German POWs were seated in front of African American servicemen", according to her Kennedy Center biography. She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi the weekend before Evers was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington and spoke and performed in behalf of the NAACP, SNCC and the National Council for Negro Women. She also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws.

Tributes and rereleases
In 2003, ABC announced that Janet Jackson would star as Horne in a television biopic. In the weeks following Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" debacle during the 2004 Super Bowl, however, Variety reported that Horne demanded Jackson be dropped from the project. "ABC executives resisted Horne's demand," according to the Associated Press report, "but Jackson representatives told the trade newspaper that she left willingly after Horne and her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, asked that she not take part." Oprah Winfrey stated to Alicia Keys during a 2005 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she might possibly consider producing the biopic herself, casting Keys as Horne.

In January 2005, Blue Note Records, her label for more than a decade, announced that "the finishing touches have been put on a collection of rare and unreleased recordings by the legendary Horne made during her time on Blue Note. Remixed by her longtime producer Rodney Jones, the recordings featured Horne in remarkably secure voice for a woman of her years, and include versions of such signature songs as "Something to Live For", "Chelsea Bridge" and "Stormy Weather". The album, originally titled Soul but renamed Seasons of a Life, was released on January 24, 2006.

In 2007, Horne was portrayed by Leslie Uggams as the older Lena and Nikki Crawford as the younger Lena in the stage musical Stormy Weather which is playing at the Pasadena Playhouse in California (January, February, and through March 1, 2009).

Personal life
Horne married Louis Jordan Jones in January 1937 and they lived in Pittsburgh. In December 1937 they had a daughter, Gail and in February 1940, a son, Edwin. Horne and Jones separated in 1940 and they divorced in 1944.

Lena Horne's second marriage was to Lennie Hayton, a Jewish American, from December 1947 until his death in 1971. Hayton was one of the premier musical conductors and arrangers at MGM. In her as-told-to autobiography Lena by Richard Schickel, Horne recounts the enormous pressures she and her husband faced as an interracial married couple. However, she later admitted (Ebony, May 1980) that she really married Hayton to advance her career and cross the "color-line" in show business.

Horne is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

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I absolutely love Chaka Khan! I did not know she plays the drums! Get on the VIDEO EMAIL list to check her out!Peace

What an awesome spirit! I hadn't heard all of these songs. This is crazy.



OK! My granmother used to play this lady all day long! I love her! I hope you enjoy this playlist


Thank you for your wonderful messages. We will resume our Womens' History Month series tomorrow with a new honoree. So for today...enjoy Ellas' playlist while you check out the VERY IMPORTANT info below! .

We want to take a day and acknowledge that we are half way through National Poison Prevention Week.

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 61 Poison Control Centers (PCCs) across the country. More than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than six years old. And, poisonings are one of the leading causes of death among adults.

The U.S. Congress established National Poison Prevention Week on September 16, 1961 (P.L. 87-319). Shortly thereafter, the Poison Prevention Week Council was organized to coordinate this annual event and promote poison prevention.

To poison proof your home:

Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention. The most dangerous potential poisons are medicines, cleaning products, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil. Be especially vigilant when there is a change in routine. Holidays, visits to and from grandparents’ homes, and other special events may bring greater risk of poisoning if the usual safeguards are defeated or not in place.

Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.

Install a safety latch – that locks when you close the door – on child-accessible cabinets containing harmful products.

Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard unused medication.

Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.

Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.

Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.

Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.

Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If your child has come in contact with poison, and has mild or no symptoms, call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment:

Swallowed poison – Remove the item from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.

Skin poison -- Remove the child’s clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.

Eye poison -- Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water
into the inner corner.

Poisonous fumes – Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.

Be Safe!

p.s. If you are not part of the VIDEO EMAIL GROUP, you've been missing out on some great documentaries and musical performances. Drop me a short email to be included

This lady is the epitome of courage and strength! Thanks Mrs. Tubman


These ladies are blessed and highly favored! You are gonna enjoy this playlist! Make sure you are on the email list to get the DAILY VIDEO TRIBUTES that go along with each honoree.


What an example of grace we have in Michelle Obama! Enjoy!


Great biography & playlist! Enjoy!


Simple Beautiful! Enjoy the biography and playlist!


We all have Women, beginning with our Moms to thank where we are today. 

I honor my Godmother, Dr. Lena F. Edwards Madison.

I "borrowed" this info from Wikipedia....Thanks!


Lena Frances Edwards (September 17, 1900 – December 3, 1986) was a New Jersey physician who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She was the daughter of Thomas Edwards and Marie Coakley. She graduated Howard University Medical School in 1924, and started her medical practice in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1925 within the immigrant community of Hudson County, New Jersey. She married a classmate, Kenneth Madison, a physician, and they had six children.

She advocated natural childbirth. Because of racism and sexism, it took years before she was admitted to the residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City. She also taught obstetrics at Howard University Medical School but told them she could not accept a department chair because of her religious objections to abortion. She was a devoted Catholic and a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis. Her religious beliefs underlay a life of service. Among other things, she was the medical adviser to the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, and volunteered at a mission for Mexican migrant workers in Texas. Her service was recognized by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 1966 she was awarded an honorary degree from Saint Peter's College, New Jersey. She was awarded the Poverello Medal in 1967. She died in 1986 in Lakewood, New Jersey.

President John F. Kennedy was supposed to present Godmother her Medal of Freedom in December, 1963.  Our world changed in Dallas, TX in November, 1963. So Dr. Edwards waited a year.


The Great Spirit, God, Yahweh, Jah, in the Spirit let me spend 31 October 1986 with her at her home in Lakewood, NJ.  We had the best time. In conversation in her sun room, I mentioned getting an occasional pain in my right side.  She had me stand and put my hand on it.  Her advice to me was to see my doctor when I returned home.  I thought nothing of it. But I obeyed.  I did not know that was our last day together face to face.  She asked me to followed her to the living room and sit. She reached into a cabinet and put in my hand an navy blue "jewelers" box for fine jewelry.  She told me to open it.  I did. Then she placed her Medal of Freedom in my hands.  My tears flowed like a stream.  All the history fell on me.

Dr. Lena, thanks for the Love.........See you, one day.   By the way, it was my gallbladder gone bad and removed almost  immediately.


Thank you Sis Patricia for sharing your GodMother with us. She deserves to be here with us on this Woman's History Month.

We all have had grandmothers.  We treasure their memories. Thanks for reminding me that I had a great

grandmother also, who never made it out of high school.  But the wisdom and the knowledge that she shared

sustained us through many hard times.   We sure need your grandmother here now to deal with this

Black Genocide through planned parenthood!  Thanks for sharing.


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