- Horne, Lena
- Physical description
- 14 linear feet (14 boxes)
- Preferred Citation
- Lena Horne collection, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
Collection consists predominantly of material relating to Lena Horne's one woman Broadway production and national and international tour of "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" (1981-1984). Papers contain fan mail, a small amount of business, personal and family correspondence; press coverage (newspaper and magazine clippings and audio and video reviews); publicity and public relations material; programs; financial data and certificates (proclamations, awards and honors).
Singer, actress, performer of stage, films and television. Lena Horne was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1917 and began her professional career in 1934 as a chorus girl at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York. In 1935 her career as a singer was launched with the Noble Sissle and later, the Charlie Barnet bands. She toured extensively in the United States and Europe. In the 1940s she appeared at New York's Cafe Society Downtown and from there went to Hollywood where she became the first black woman to sign a long term contract. Beginning in 1942, her films included "Panama Hattie," "Cabin the Sky," "Stormy Weather," "As Thousands Cheer," "Till the Clouds Roll By" and "The Wiz," among others.
Horne recorded extensively, her most popular recordings include "Stormy Weather," "Blues in the Night" and "The Lady is a Tramp." She sang on the radio, made numerous television appearances including the specials "Harry and Lena," 1972; "Jubilee," 1976; and "The Sound of His Music" (a salute to Richard Rogers) in 1976. Her Broadway stage appearances include "Blackbirds of 1939," "Jamaica" (1957) and her greatest recent success, a one-woman show called "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" (1981), the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history, for which Ms. Horne won a Drama Desk Award as the Outstanding Actress in a Musical, a Special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement in Theatre, a Special Award of the New York Drama Critics' Circle, New York City's Handel Medallion (the city's highest award in the arts and music), and two Grammy Awards - Best Female Pop Vocalist of 1982 and Best Original Cast Album. Horne is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Howard University, Washington, D.C., in 1997, the 1983 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Spingarn Medal and was a 1984 Kennedy Center Honors awardee.
Source of acquisitionGift, Horne, Lena / Sneed, Sherman (manager) 211 E. 20th Street - #2A New York, N.Y. 10021, 02/--/1991
- African American entertainers
- African American motion picture actors and actresses
- African American singers
- African American theater
- African Americans in the performing arts
- Musicals -- New York (State) -- New York
- Women singers -- United States
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Correspondence (2 folders) restricted.