Down Beat Critic Knocks Self Out Gassing ‘Bout Miss Lena Horne--So Does PV’s Fredi
December 19, 1942
In the pre-war Parisian atmosphere of the Savoy-Plaza’s Cafe Lounge, a brilliant spotlight in an otherwise dark, quiet, expectant room, picks up the girl of the hour—Lena Horne, to the strains of Duke Ellington’s haunting “Mood Indigo.” You at once realize why the whole town is talking about Lena. The moment she enters, the room becomes electrified.
This gorgeous nut-brown bombshell has been dressed by the ultra-coutourier [sic], Hattie Carnegie. She wore a white gown with a very decollette [sic] sequin top, draped across the hips with a straight skirt slit in the front down to the knees. A white orchid in her hair, completes this very striking picture.
In show business, it is the accepted theory that a gal as good looking as Miss Horne, doesn’t need much talent—but here is beauty-talent-plus a smooth, finished technique of projection.
While she thrilled the top-hatted customers with some old favorites, It Had To Be You and Sunny Side Of The Street, a photographer from Life magazine shot pictures of her from every conceivable angle, for the beauteous Miss Horne is one of the most photogenic personalities extant.
Much of her effectiveness may be credited to the skillful arrangements and piano work of her accompanist, Phil Moore, who came on from Hollywood to assist in this unprecedented appearance.
It is interesting to note that the manager of the Savoy-Plaza is from Texas; it is even more interesting to point out that Lena has broken all attendance records for this spot…even that of Hildegarde’s.
We might all very well be proud of Lena Horne because in her we are being represented by intelligence, talent and beauty—and it’s all BROWN.