WASN’T she just beautiful? This is American singer Lena Horne being interviewed by Regal cinema manager Bob Scott in Glasgow in 1950. Looks as though Bob put on an extra dollop of Brylcreem that morning in anticipation of meeting her.

The Regal, later the ABC in Sauchiehall Street, was one of Glasgow’s largest cinemas, seating more than 2,300 people. Alas the back of the photograph does not say whether Lena was singing that night or just introducing one of her films.

She certainly appeared regularly in Glasgow, often at the Empire Theatre, with Glasgow journalist Jack House describing her as the best singer he had ever heard.

Lena toured Europe a lot in the fifties as her film career back in Holywood stalled, mainly due to racism as the big studios were against having a black woman in title roles. Their loss, our gain.

A biography of Lena specifically mentions Glasgow as one of her favourites, due to the “stomping, cheering audiences,” said Lena.

Brooklyn-born Lena, best known for her singing of Stormy Weather had a rich, voice, often used at its best on some jazz classics, and in later years she performed to sell-out crowds on Broadway.

America was still a difficult place for African-Americans in the fifties, and Lena was actively involved in the civil rights movement, including suing restaurants that refused to serve blacks.

Glasgow, though, welcomed her with open arms.