The Miracle Of Lena Horne Live


music copywriter

In the period between 1950 and 1969, many Hollywood stars made attempts at playing the nightclub circuit with varying degrees of success.  Though some of those shows were terrific to watch in the room the live recordings now sound stale and dated.

Notable exceptions: Noel Coward in Las Vegas 1955, the lost and found Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert, recorded in 1958, released thirty years later, and Sassy Swings the Tivoli, featuring Sarah Vaughan recorded in 1963.  Two live recordings featuring Lena Horne and Lenny Hayden are the cream of the crop.

In 2002, Collectables released both records on one CD, Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria, Lena Horne at the Sands.


Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria recorded live in 1957 conducted by Horne’s husband Lenny Hayden rose to number 24 on the Billboard charts, becoming the best-selling record by a female artist in the entire history of the RCA Victor label.

Lena Horne at the Sands, recorded live at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas over three nights in 1960, released in 1961. Lenny Hayden conducts the orchestra.

lena horne

Outshining the mastery of song interpretation and the tight orchestral arrangements is Horne’s immediacy and command as a performer.  With little entr’acte she draws the audience to her, you can hear them climbing into the palm of her hand.

The performances are full of humor and teasing, blazing hot in one number, dropped into a frosty bank of snow in the next.  You may never listen to “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” in the same way again.

These recordings sound just as fresh as they did the year of their release.

Get the CD for your next cocktail party, or enjoy it alone. No matter how you experience Lena Horne live it will be a transporting treat.