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Herb Jeffries: Ellington singer and pioneering black cowboy actor

Herb Jeffries
Herb Jeffries
Brian Watt/KPCC

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5-26-2014 UPDATE: Herb Jeffries died of heart failure Sunday at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center. He was 100. 

9-24-2013 UPDATE: Today is probably Herb Jeffries 100th birthday! Happy Birthday, Mr Jeffries!

8-31-2011 UPDATE: Herb Jeffries is scheduled to appear at the Sweet and Hot Music Festival, which is at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel from September 2 through 5. It's a weekend of jazz from the 1920s - 1950s, America's Golden Age of popular music.

97-year old Herb Jeffries had two distinct careers. He's been called the Bronze Buckaroo, the two gun man from Harlem, Herb Jeffries was the first African American actor to star in a Western film back in 1937. But he also sang with Duke Ellington in the early 40s. "Flamingo" was his signature song.

Jeffries is still singing today. If the 97 year old Jeffries is feeling up to it, you can see him perform this weekend at the the 14th Annual Sweet and Hot Music Festival at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel. KPCC's Brian Watt talked with Jeffries for Off-Ramp.

COME INSIDE to see Jeffries singing years ago, and for a link to the festival.