Back when Billie Holiday was first accorded the accolade it really meant something. On 2 July 20 year old Billie began a recording partnership with pianist Teddy Wilson that proved to be very productive and included some classic sides. Over the next twelve months Billie recorded about a dozen more sides with Teddy before going into the studio under her own name, with her own orchestra. It was not an easy engagement for Billie. I was dazzled by her soft, breath taking beauty. The song is about the lynching of a black man somewhere in the Deep South; it pulled no punches. When Billie performed it, live audiences could be stunned into silence, while men as well as women would weep. Her voice may have been damaged but her timing and her innate ability to make us all believers shine through. It is perfect. The Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer classic is one that Frank Sinatra made his own, recording it for the first time a decade before Billie.
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Philadelphia is proud to call itself the birthplace of Billie Holiday, one of the all-time greatest jazz singers. She may not have been just as proud of the city — she wrote in her autobiography that she was born in Baltimore — but she's still part of the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. While she died at just 44 years of age, fans across the world mark Thursday as her st birthday. While best known for her bittersweet blues, Holiday could croon happy tunes just as masterfully.
Arguably the most recognizable voice in vocal jazz history, Billie Holiday is the epitome of style. Born in the poor part of Baltimore to two teenage parents, Billie turned to music as a way to support herself. At 15 years old, after moving to New York City with her mother, she started singing in Harlem nightclubs for tips. At 18 years old, record producer John Hammond discovered her at a club and took her under his wing. She quickly became of the most coveted singers around, performing with the Duke Ellington orchestra and then eventually Count Basie and Artie Shaw. She was heavy into alcohol and heroin, which, along with her tempestuous love life, often got in the way of her career. She died in at the young age of 44, but her interpretations of blues and jazz standards are the quintessential versions to this day, and her unique voice has inspired countless singers from Ray Charles to Amy Winehouse. Here are the 10 best songs by Billie Holiday. Though Holiday recorded many versions of this classic song over her careers, perhaps her most heartfelt recording of it is the one she did live at Carnegie Hall in
Eleanora Fagan April 7, — July 17, , professionally known as Billie Holiday , was an American jazz and swing music singer with a career spanning for 26 years. Nicknamed " Lady Day " by her friend and music partner Lester Young , Holiday had an innovative influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills. After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem , where she was heard by the producer John Hammond , who commended her voice.