Beautiful New York

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Category Archives: Birthday Tribute

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Lena Horne

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Lena Horne! Born in Brooklyn, Horne joined the chorus line at the Cotton Club when still a teenager and toured with Noble Sissle before moving to Hollywood. After appearing in such classics as Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather, she came back to the Big Apple nightclubs …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Ella Fitzgerald

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Ella Fitzgerald! Dubbed “the First Lady of Song”, the Queen of Jazz saw her career begin with a bang at an Amateur Night at the Apollo competition when she was 17 years old. Winning the $25 prize money, she soon signed with Chick Webb’s orchestra and became a …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Betty Comden

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Betty Comden! Born Basya Cohen in Brooklyn, Comden teamed up with Adolphe Green to become one of the most successful songwriting duos in Broadway and Hollywood history. Their work with song-and-dance men such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly became legendary, winning Screen Writers Guild Awards for the …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Kirk Douglas

Happy 100th Birthday to legendary Broadway and Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas! Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in upstate New York, Kirk Douglas came to the city to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After playing tiny walk-on roles on Broadway and working in radio commercials, his former classmate and friend Lauren Bacall recommended him for …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Charlie Christian

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Charlie Christian! In the early days of jazz, Christian was enormously influential in the acceptance of the electric guitar as a lead instrument, taking the stringed stalwart out of the rhythm section and placing it center stage, while performing with Benny Goodman and his sextet. His solos were …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Jane Jacobs

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Jane Jacobs! At a time when New Yorkers were far less in love with their history than today, Jacobs was a grassroots activist who organized communities to rise up in protest against urban planning that would remove the aesthetic heart and guts from historic neighborhoods. Her famous victory …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Harry James

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Harry James! In the age of the big band, James’ virtuosic talents on the trumpet made his name. Performing for Benny Goodman, his sight-reading ability earned him the nickname “the Hawk” and, once he became a bandleader in his own right, was the first to employ a young …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Jackie Gleason

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Jackie Gleason! The beloved actor and comedian who was born on this day in 1916 is best remembered for the classic TV sitcom, The Honeymooners, the he also gave some very successful film and stage performances throughout his career (including his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Minnesota Fats in The …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Frank Sinatra

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Frank Sinatra! Born and bred in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River, Sinatra bonded with New York City early in his career. When he was 26, his concert at the Paramount Theatre (now Hard Rock Café in Times Square) sparked the famous “bobby sox riot” that signaled his …

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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Arthur Miller

Happy 100th Birthday to the late, great Arthur Miller. Born in Harlem and raised in Queens and Brooklyn, Miller began writing drama while in college. He would eventually become the single greatest playwright in the history of American theatre. His masterpieces have been produced and revived on Broadway countless times over the years, including Death …

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