January 25, 1896 - November 1, 1927


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T

Musical feature

February is Black History Month!
Florence Mills was a major historic figure of the entertainment world of her era
She pioneered the way for a succession of great black divas who followed her in the Blackbirds shows
These included Ethel Waters, Elizabeth Welch, Adelaide Hall, Mabel Mercer, Valada Snow, Minto Cato,  and Nina Mae McKinney.
The last in the sequence was Lena Horne, in Blackbirds of 1939.
Lena was thrilled to be succeeding the great Florence Mills, saying she had:
 "Dicovered for myself what a sensitive and cultured woman she was"
Although the crtitics praised Lena, the show was a flop and soon closed.
Lena kept one of her tunes from the show in her later repertoire - Here it is:

"You're So Indifferent"
(From her  1955  vinyl album "It's Love")

Can also be seen in film clip from 1943 movie "SWing Fever"


             Florence Mills Month by Month

        
       
FEBRUARY                                                       
    

          
1910    Playing Grand Theatre, Fishkill, N.Y. With the Mills Sisters
          
1918    Name first linked romantically with Kid Thompson
          
1920    Rejoins Tennessee Ten & Kid Thompson in Chicago
         1921    With Tennessee Ten in Folly Town at Casino Theatre Philadelphia
         1922    Opens in Broadway show Plantation Revue  - First black female !
         1923    Plays hometown Harlem at Lafayette Theatre in Plantation Revue
         1924    Florence & Kid receive  Steinway Baby Grand at new Harlem home
         1924    Plantation Revue plays Harlem again at Lafayette
         1925    Full page portrait appears in Vanity Fair – first black person ever!
         1925    In Dixie to Broadway at Lyric Theatre, Philadelphia
         1926    Gives interview denying play Lulu Belle is based on her life
         1927    Shares British charity concert bill with the great Gracie Fields


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Off topic message
 If any of you Florence Mills fans are  interested in chess you may like to check out my other book
See: The Doeberl Cup: Fifty Years of Australian Chess History