The World Today is a Mess
Little Donna Hightower – Citizen of the World
Donna Hightower in Paris circa the 1950's- photo by Eddy Wiggins
Donna Lubertha Hightower also known as “Little Donna Hightower”, was born December 28, 1926, in Caruthersville, Missouri. Growing up, she enjoyed listening to Ella Fitzgerald and other legendary jazz artists, but it was never her dream to become a singer. By the age of 23, she had been married and divorced with two children.
She had been working in a diner in Chicago, when Bob Tillman, a reporter with the Chicago Defender newspaper, heard her singing. This lead to bookings as a singer at the Strand Hotel and eventually a recording contract with Decca Records where she recorded her first single, “I Ain’t In The Mood”, in 1951.
During the 1950s she recorded, often accompanied by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra and she toured the US, with the stars like B. B. King, Johnny Mathis, Della Reese, and many others. By 1958, the invitations to perform and tour dried up, so she took a job with a music publishing company in New York where she would record demonstration records of new songs. This led to a recording contract with Capitol Records and established her international career.
In 1959, she moved to Europe, living first in France, then Belgium finally settling in Madrid. In 1971 she won the Costa del Sol International Song Festival, then in 1972, She recorded “The World is a Mess Today” which sold over one million copies worldwide and was a major hit in France where she would perform to sold-out audiences.
In 1990, she returned to the United States to live in Austin, Texas where she was active in the Austin Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. In 2006 she performed at a jazz festival in Spain. It was her last performance before her death on August 19, 2013, in Austin in 2013 at the age of 86.
1964 in Europe
Host A Screening of African Americans in Paris
Paris Noir -African Americans in the City of Light, a one-hour documentary by Blue Lion Films, tells the outstanding story of pioneering men and women who found liberté, egalité, and fraternité (freedom, equality, and brotherhood) abroad, that they did not find at home in America.
Paris Noir has options for hosting, from educational viewing to screening as a fundraiser.
Choose a screening option that meets your needs:
High definition DVD to host and promote a single community film screening, INCLUDING Skype talk with one of the filmmakers, can introduce the film, the answer questions during a post-viewing Q&A. Includes 10 copies of the companion book African Americans in the City of Light for sale to your attendees. $250.00.
High definition DVD to host and promote a single community film screening, PLUS one of the filmmakers attend your screening, introduce the film, then answer questions and facilitate a community building exercise after the film. $500.00- + Lodging
Option for multiple screenings is available. Contact us for more information and pricing.
Increase your fundraising potential! Additional books available to sell at your event, or separately to raise funds for your organization.
Books must be ordered by the organizer in advance. Shipping cost is additional. The organizer keeps 100% of the revenue from the sale of books. Discounts apply as follows:
For more information or to schedule a screening Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / AfricanAmericansinParis.com