Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Herb Jeffries!

We have to wish a Happy Belated Birthday to legendary entertainer, Mr. Herb Jeffries.

The "bronze buckaroo" turned the big 1-0-0 just a few days ago!


Umberto Alejandro Ballentino (sometimes called Valentino) was born on September 24, 1913 (some sources say 1911, others 1914; most--including news reports--say 1913) in Detroit, Michigan to an Irish mother and a father of mixed ancestry. 

He began singing in nightclubs at a very young age and by the urging of Louis Armstrong, he soon moved to Chicago where he'd sing in some of the city's most popular nightclubs/events and with some of the most popular bands (Armstrong, Ellington,"Fatha" Hines, etc.).

He would venture into the world of film in the late 1930's, playing singing cowboys in race movies like Rhythm Rodeo, The Bronze Buckaroo, and Harlem Rides the Range. He'd sustain in the entertainment industry well into the 1990s and continues to make other appearances at Hollywood/entertainment events.

A 45-minute documentary on his life was released in February of 2008.

Mr. Jeffries at TCM's Classic Film Festival Opening Night Gala and World Premiere of "An American In Paris (April 28, 2011)

Mr. Jeffries now lives with his wife, Savannah, in Wichita, Kansas. In 2012, September 24th was proclaimed "Herb Jeffries Day" in Wichita. [Source]

Happy Birthday, Herb Jeffries! 


Other Sources:

First Photo: Jazz Wax
Second Photo: From Zimbio


I do not own any of the images above. If the rightful owner(s) of these photos wishes to have them remove, please contact me, and I will do so immediately.

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