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Herb Jeffries, Singing Cowboy and Ellington Vocalist, Dead at 100

A star of Westerns who also sang jazz

Herb Jeffries

Herb Jeffries, whose multi-decade career took him from stardom as the first African-American “singing cowboy” to singing with Duke Ellington, died in Los Angeles May 25. The cause was heart failure. Jeffries was 100.

Known in the acting days as the “Bronze Buckaroo,” Jeffries found fame beginning in the 1930s as the star in a series of all-black Western films during a time when segregation still ruled Hollywood.

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