Pioneering African-American 'Bronze Buckaroo' crooner Herb Jeffries dies at the age of 100

May 27, 2014 6:08 AM

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Herb Jeffries, the jazz singer and actor who performed with Duke Ellington and was known as the 'Bronze Buckaroo' in a series of all-black 1930s Westerns, died of heart failure Sunday morning at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 100.

With a mellow voice and handsome face, Jeffries became familiar to jazz fans, but segregation in the film industry limited his movie career. He scored a big hit with Ellington as the vocalist on 'Flamingo,' recorded in 1940 and later covered by a white singer, the popular vocalist Tony Martin.

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