The Info List - Billie Holiday

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal 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, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.[2] After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by the producer John Hammond, who commended her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia Records
Columbia Records
and Decca Records. By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems. Though she was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, Holiday's bad health, coupled with a string of abusive relationships and ongoing drug and alcohol abuse, caused her voice to wither. Her final recordings were met with mixed reaction to her damaged voice but were mild commercial successes. Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958. Holiday died of cirrhosis on July 17, 1959. A posthumous album, Last Recording, was released following her death. Much of Holiday's material has been rereleased since her death. She is considered a legendary performer with an ongoing influence on American music. She is the recipient of four Grammy Awards, all of them posthumous awards for Best Historical Album. Holiday herself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973. Lady Sings the Blues, a film about her life, starring Diana Ross, was released in 1972. She is the primary character in the play and later the film Lady Day
Lady Day
at Emerson's Bar and Grill; the role was originated by Reenie Upchurch in 1986 and was played by Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
on Broadway and in the film.[citation needed]


1 Life and career

1.1 1915–29: Childhood 1.2 1929-35: Early career 1.3 1935–38: Recordings with Teddy Wilson 1.4 1937–38: Working for Count Basie
Count Basie
and Artie Shaw 1.5 1939: Commodore recordings and mainstream success 1.6 1940–47: Successes 1.7 1947–52: Legal troubles and Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
concert 1.8 1952–59: Lady Sings the Blues 1.9 Death

2 Vocal style and range 3 Discography

3.1 Hit records 3.2 Studio LPs

4 Awards and nominations 5 Filmography

5.1 Television appearances

6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Life and career[edit] 1915–29: Childhood[edit] Eleanora Fagan[3][4] was born on April 7, 1915,[5] in Philadelphia, the daughter of Sarah Julia "Sadie" Fagan and Clarence Holiday, an unmarried teenaged couple. Her father did not live with her mother. Not long after Eleanora was born, Clarence abandoned his family to pursue a career as a jazz banjo player and guitarist.[6] Sarah moved to Philadelphia
at age 19,[7] after she was evicted from her parents' home in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, for becoming pregnant. With no support from her parents, she made arrangements with her older, married half-sister, Eva Miller, for Eleanora to stay with her in Baltimore.

Holiday aged 2 in 1917

Holiday had a difficult childhood. Her mother often took what were then known as transportation jobs, serving on passenger railroads. Holiday was left to be raised largely by Eva Miller's mother-in-law, Martha Miller, and suffered from her mother's absences and being left in the care of others for much of the first ten years of her life.[8] Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, first published in 1956, is sketchy on details of her early life, but much was confirmed by Stuart Nicholson in his 1995 biography of the singer. Some historians have disputed Holiday's paternity, as a copy of her birth certificate in the Baltimore archives lists the father as a man named Frank DeViese. Other historians consider this an anomaly, probably inserted by a hospital or government worker.[9] DeViese lived in Philadelphia, and Sadie Harris may have known him through her work. Sadie Harris, then known as Sadie Fagan, married Philip Gough, but the marriage ended in two years. Eleonora was left with Martha Miller again while her mother took more transportation jobs.[10] She frequently skipped school, and her truancy resulted in her being brought before the juvenile court on January 5, 1925, when she was nine years old. She was sent to the House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic reform school. She was baptized there on March 19, 1925. After nine months in care, she was "paroled" on October 3, 1925, to her mother, who had opened a restaurant, the East Side Grill, where she and Holiday worked long hours. By the age of 11, Holiday had dropped out of school.[11] Holiday's mother returned to their home on December 24, 1926, to discover a neighbor, Wilbur Rich, attempting to rape Billie. She successfully fought back, and Rich was arrested. Officials placed Billie in the House of the Good Shepherd under protective custody as a state witness in the rape case.[12] Holiday was released in February 1927, nearly twelve. She found a job running errands in a brothel,[13] and she scrubbed marble steps and kitchen and bathroom floors of neighborhood homes.[14] Around this time, she first heard the records of Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
and Bessie Smith. By the end of 1928, Holiday's mother moved to Harlem, New York, and left Holiday again with Martha Miller.[15] By early 1929, Holiday had joined her mother in Harlem. Their landlady was a sharply dressed woman named Florence Williams, who ran a brothel at 151 West 140th Street. Holiday's mother became a prostitute, and within a matter of days of arriving in New York, Holiday, who was not yet fourteen, also became a prostitute at $5 a client.[16] On May 2, 1929, the house was raided, and Holiday and her mother were sent to prison. After spending some time in a workhouse, her mother was released in July, and Holiday was released in October. 1929-35: Early career[edit] As a young teenager, Holiday started singing in nightclubs in Harlem. She took her professional pseudonym from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and the musician Clarence Holiday, her probable father.[4] At the outset of her career, she spelled her last name "Halliday", the birth surname of her father, but eventually changed it to "Holiday", his performing name. The young singer teamed up with a neighbor, the tenor saxophone player Kenneth Hollan. From 1929 to 1931, they were a team, performing at clubs such as the Grey Dawn, Pod's and Jerry's
Pod's and Jerry's
on 133rd Street, and the Brooklyn Elks' Club.[17][18] Benny Goodman recalled hearing Holiday in 1931 at the Bright Spot. As her reputation grew, she played in many clubs, including Mexico's and the Alhambra Bar and Grill, where she met Charles Linton, a vocalist who later worked with Chick Webb. It was also during this period that she connected with her father, who was playing in Fletcher Henderson's band.[19] Late in 1932, at the age of 17, Holiday replaced the singer Monette Moore at Covan's, a club on West 132nd Street. The producer John Hammond, who loved Moore's singing and had come to hear her, first heard Holiday there in early 1933.[20] Hammond arranged for Holiday to make her recording debut, at age 18, in November 1933, with Benny Goodman. She recorded two songs: "Your Mother's Son-in-Law" and "Riffin' the Scotch", the latter being her first hit. "Son-in-Law" sold 300 copies, but "Riffin' the Scotch", released on November 11, sold 5,000 copies. Hammond was impressed by Holiday's singing style and said of her, "Her singing almost changed my music tastes and my musical life, because she was the first girl singer I'd come across who actually sang like an improvising jazz genius." Hammond compared Holiday favorably to Armstrong and said she had a good sense of lyric content at her young age.[21] In 1935, Holiday had a small role as a woman abused by her lover in Duke Ellington's short Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. In her scene, she sang "Saddest Tale".[22] 1935–38: Recordings with Teddy Wilson[edit] In 1935 Holiday was signed to Brunswick Records
Brunswick Records
by John Hammond to record current pop tunes with Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
in the new swing style for the growing jukebox trade. They were given free rein to improvise the material. Holiday's improvisation of melody to fit the emotion was revolutionary. Their first collaboration included "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and "Miss Brown to You". "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" has been deemed her "claim to fame."[23] Brunswick did not favor the recording session, because producers wanted Holiday to sound more like Cleo Brown. After "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" garnered success, however, the company began considering Holiday an artist in her own right.[24] She began recording under her own name a year later (on the 35-cent Vocalion label), producing a series of extraordinary performances with groups comprising the swing era's finest musicians. The sessions were co-produced by Hammond and Bernie Hanighen.[25] With their arrangements, Wilson and Holiday took pedestrian pop tunes, such as "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" (number 6 Pop) and "Yankee Doodle Went to Town", and turned them into jazz classics. Most of Holiday's recordings with Wilson or under her own name during the 1930s and early 1940s are regarded as important parts of the jazz vocal library. She was then in her twenties. Another frequent accompanist was the tenor saxophonist Lester Young, who had been a boarder at her mother's house in 1934 and with whom Holiday had a special rapport. He said, "I think you can hear that on some of the old records, you know. Some time I'd sit down and listen to 'em myself, and it sound like two of the same voices, if you don't be careful, you know, or the same mind, or something like that."[26] Young nicknamed her "Lady Day", and she called him "Prez". Hammond spoke about the commercial impact of the Wilson-Holiday sides from 1935 to 1938, calling them a great asset to Brunswick. The record label, according to Hammond, was broke and unable to record many jazz tunes. Wilson, Holiday, Young, and other musicians came into the studio without musical arrangements and improvised as they performed, dispensing with the expense of having written arrangements, so that the records they produced were cheap. Holiday was never given any royalties for her work, instead being paid a flat fee, which saved the company money. Some of the records produced were successful, such as "I Cried for You", which sold 15,000 copies. Hammond said of the record, "15,000 ... was a giant hit for Brunswick in those days. I mean a giant hit. Most records that made money sold around three to four thousand."[27] 1937–38: Working for Count Basie
Count Basie
and Artie Shaw[edit] In late 1937, Holiday had a brief stint as a big-band vocalist with Count Basie.[28] The traveling conditions of the band were often poor; they performed many one-nighters in clubs, moving from city to city with little stability. Holiday chose the songs she sang and had a hand in the arrangements, choosing to portray her developing persona of a woman unlucky in love. Her tunes included "I Must Have That Man", "Travelin' All Alone", "I Can't Get Started", and "Summertime", a hit for Holiday in 1936, originating in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess
a few years earlier. Basie had gotten used to Holiday's heavy involvement in the band. He said, "When she rehearsed with the band, it was really just a matter of getting her tunes like she wanted them, because she knew how she wanted to sound and you couldn't tell her what to do."[29] Holiday found herself in direct competition with the popular singer Ella Fitzgerald. The two later became friends.[30] Fitzgerald was the vocalist for the Chick Webb
Chick Webb
Band, which was in competition with the Basie band. On January 16, 1938, the same day that Benny Goodman performed his legendary Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
jazz concert, the Basie and Webb bands had a battle at the Savoy Ballroom. Webb and Fitzgerald were declared winners by Metronome magazine, while DownBeat
magazine pronounced Holiday and Basie the winners. Fitzgerald won a straw poll of the audience by a three-to-one margin. Some of the songs Holiday performed with Basie were recorded. "I Can't Get Started", "They Can't Take That Away from Me", and "Swing It Brother Swing" are all commercially available.[31] Holiday was unable to record in the studio with Basie, but she included many of his musicians in her recording sessions with Teddy Wilson. By February of that year, Holiday was no longer singing for Basie. Various reasons have been given for her firing. Jimmy Rushing, Basie's male vocalist, called her unprofessional. According to All Music Guide, Holiday was fired for being "temperamental and unreliable". She complained of low pay and poor working conditions and may have refused to sing the songs requested of her or change her style.[32] Holiday was hired by Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
a month after being fired from the Count Basie
Count Basie
Band. This association placed her among the first black women to work with a white orchestra, an unusual arrangement at that time. This was also the first time a black female singer employed full-time toured the segregated U.S. South with a white bandleader. In situations where there was a lot of racial tension, Shaw was known to stick up for his vocalist. In her autobiography, Holiday describes an incident in which she was not permitted to sit on the bandstand with other vocalists because she was black. Shaw said to her, "I want you on the band stand like Helen Forrest, Tony Pastor and everyone else."[33] When touring the South, Holiday would sometimes be heckled by members of the audience. In Louisville, Kentucky, a man called her a "nigger wench" and requested she sing another song. Holiday lost her temper and had to be escorted off the stage.[34] By March 1938, Shaw and Holiday had been broadcast on New York City's powerful radio station WABC (the original WABC, now WCBS). Because of their success, they were given an extra time slot to broadcast in April, which increased their exposure. The New York Amsterdam News reviewed the broadcasts and reported an improvement in Holiday's performance. Metronome reported that the addition of Holiday to Shaw's band put it in the "top brackets". Holiday could not sing as often during Shaw's shows as she could in Basie's; the repertoire was more instrumental, with fewer vocals. Shaw was also pressured to hire a white singer, Nita Bradley, with whom Holiday did not get along but had to share a bandstand. In May 1938, Shaw won band battles against Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
and Red Norvo
Red Norvo
with the audience favoring Holiday. Although Shaw admired Holiday's singing in his band, saying she had a "remarkable ear" and a "remarkable sense of time", her tenure with the band was nearing an end.[35] In November 1938 Holiday was asked to use the service elevator at the Lincoln Hotel, instead of the passenger elevator, because white patrons of the hotels complained. This may have been the last straw for her. She left the band shortly after. Holiday spoke about the incident weeks later, saying, "I was never allowed to visit the bar or the dining room as did other members of the band ... [and] I was made to leave and enter through the kitchen." There are no surviving live recordings of Holiday with Shaw's band. Because she was under contract to a different record label and possibly because of her race, Holiday was able to make only one record with Shaw, "Any Old Time". However, Shaw played clarinet in four songs she recorded in New York on July 10, 1936: "Did I Remember?", "No Regrets", "Summertime" and "Billie's Blues". By the late 1930s, Holiday had toured with Count Basie
Count Basie
and Artie Shaw, scored a string of radio and retail hits with Teddy Wilson, and became an established artist in the recording industry. Her songs "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and "Easy Living" were imitated by singers across America and were quickly becoming jazz standards.[36] In 1938, Holiday's single "I'm Gonna Lock My Heart" ranked sixth as the most-played song in September of that year. Her record label, Vocalion, listed the single as its fourth-best seller for the same month, and it peaked at number 2 on the pop charts, according to Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories: 1890–1954.[37] 1939: Commodore recordings and mainstream success[edit] Holiday was recording for Columbia in the late 1930s when she was introduced to "Strange Fruit", a song based on a poem about lynching written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx. Meeropol used the pseudonym "Lewis Allan" for the poem, which was set to music and performed at teachers' union meetings.[38] It was eventually heard by Barney Josephson, the proprietor of Café Society, an integrated nightclub in Greenwich Village, who introduced it to Holiday. She performed it at the club in 1939,[39] with some trepidation, fearing possible retaliation. She later said that the imagery of the song reminded her of her father's death and that this played a role in her resistance to performing it. When Holiday's producers at Columbia found the subject matter too sensitive, Milt Gabler
Milt Gabler
agreed to record it for his Commodore Records label on April 20, 1939. "Strange Fruit" remained in her repertoire for twenty years. She recorded it again for Verve. The Commodore release did not get any airplay, but the controversial song sold well, though Gabler attributed that mostly to the record's other side, "Fine and Mellow", which was a jukebox hit.[40] "The version I recorded for Commodore," Holiday said of "Strange Fruit," "became my biggest-selling record."[41] "Strange Fruit" was the equivalent of a top-twenty hit in the 1930s. For her performance of "Strange Fruit" at the Café Society, she had waiters silence the crowd when the song began. During the song's long introduction, the lights dimmed and all movement had to cease. As Holiday began singing, only a small spotlight illuminated her face. On the final note, all lights went out, and when they came back on, Holiday was gone.[42] Holiday said her father, Clarence Holiday, was denied medical treatment for a fatal lung disorder because of racial prejudice and that singing "Strange Fruit" reminded her of the incident. "It reminds me of how Pop died, but I have to keep singing it, not only because people ask for it, but because twenty years after Pop died the things that killed him are still happening in the South," she wrote in her autobiography.[43] Holiday's popularity increased after "Strange Fruit". She received a mention in Time magazine.[44] "I open Café Society
Café Society
as an unknown," Holiday said. "I left two years later as a star. I needed the prestige and publicity all right, but you can't pay rent with it." She soon demanded a raise from her manager, Joe Glaser.[45] Holiday returned to Commodore in 1944, recording songs she made with Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
in the 1930s, including "I Cover the Waterfront", "I'll Get By", and "He's Funny That Way". She also recorded new songs that were popular at the time, including, "My Old Flame", "How Am I to Know?", "I'm Yours", and "I'll Be Seeing You", a number-one hit for Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
. She also recorded her version of "Embraceable You", which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2005. 1940–47: Successes[edit]

"Portrait of Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
and Mister, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947".

Holiday's mother, Sadie Fagan, nicknamed "The Duchess," opened a restaurant called Mom Holiday's. She used money from her daughter while playing dice with members of the Count Basie
Count Basie
band, with whom she toured in the late 1930s. "It kept mom busy and happy and stopped her from worrying and watching over me," Holiday said. Fagan began borrowing large amounts from Holiday to support the restaurant. Holiday obliged but soon fell on hard times herself. "I needed some money one night and I knew Mom was sure to have some," she said. "So I walked in the restaurant like a stockholder and asked. Mom turned me down flat. She wouldn't give me a cent." The two argued, and Holiday shouted angrily, "God bless the child that's got his own," and stormed out. With Arthur Herzog, Jr., a pianist, she wrote a song based on the lyric "God Bless the Child" and added music.[46] "God Bless the Child" became Holiday's most popular and most covered record. It reached number 25 on the charts in 1941 and was third in Billboard's songs of the year, selling over a million records.[47][48] In 1976, the song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.[49] Herzog claimed Holiday contributed only a few lines to the lyrics. He said she came up with the line "God bless the child" from a dinner conversation the two had had.[50] On June 24, 1942, Holiday recorded "Trav'lin Light" with Paul Whiteman for a new label, Capitol Records. Because she was under contract to Columbia, she used the pseudonym "Lady Day."[51] The song reached number 23 on the pop charts and number one on the R&B charts, then called the Harlem
Hit Parade.[52] In September 1943, Life magazine wrote, "She has the most distinct style of any popular vocalist and is imitated by other vocalists."[53] Milt Gabler, in addition to owning Commodore Records, became an A&R man for Decca Records. He signed Holiday to Decca on August 7, 1944, when she was 29.[54] Her first Decca recording was "Lover Man" (number 16 Pop, number 5 R&B), one of her biggest hits. The success and distribution of the song made Holiday a staple in the pop community, leading to solo concerts, rare for jazz singers in the late 40s. Gabler said, "I made Billie a real pop singer. That was right in her. Billie loved those songs."[55] Jimmy Davis and Roger "Ram" Ramirez, the song's writers, had tried to interest Holiday in the song.[56] In 1943, a flamboyant male torch singer, Willie Dukes, began singing "Lover Man" on 52nd Street.[57] Because of his success, Holiday added it to her shows. The record's flip side was "No More", one of her favorites.[54] Holiday asked Gabler for strings on the recording. Such arrangements were associated with Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
and Ella Fitzgerald. "I went on my knees to him," Holiday said. "I didn't want to do it with the ordinary six pieces. I begged Milt and told him I had to have strings behind me."[58] On October 4, 1944, Holiday entered the studio to record "Lover Man", saw the string ensemble and walked out. The musical director, Toots Camarata, said Holiday was overwhelmed with joy.[58] She may also have wanted strings to avoid comparisons with her commercially successful early work with Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
and everything produced afterwards. Her 1930s recordings with Wilson used a small jazz combo; recordings for Decca often involved strings.[58] A month later, in November, Holiday returned to Decca to record "That Ole Devil Called Love", "Big Stuff", and "Don't Explain". She wrote "Don't Explain" after she caught her husband, Jimmy Monroe, with lipstick on his collar.[59] Holiday did not make any more records until August 1945, when she recorded "Don't Explain" for a second time, changing the lyrics "I know you raise Cain" to "Just say you'll remain" and changing "You mixed with some dame" to "What is there to gain?" Other songs recorded were "Big Stuff", "What Is This Thing Called Love?", and "You Better Go Now". Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
named "You Better Go Now" her favorite recording of Holiday's.[60] "Big Stuff" and "Don't Explain" were recorded again but with additional strings and a viola.

Holiday and her dog Mister, New York, c. June 1946

In 1946, Holiday recorded "Good Morning Heartache". Although the song failed to chart, she sang it in live performances; three live recordings are known.[61] In September 1946, Holiday began her only major film, New Orleans, in which she starred opposite Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
and Woody Herman. Plagued by racism and McCarthyism, producer Jules Levey
Jules Levey
and script writer Herbert Biberman were pressed to lessen Holiday's and Armstrong's roles to avoid the impression that black people created jazz. The attempts failed because in 1947 Biberman was listed as one of the Hollywood Ten and sent to jail.[62] Several scenes were deleted from the film. "They had taken miles of footage of music and scenes," Holiday said, but "none of it was left in the picture. And very damn little of me. I know I wore a white dress for a number I did... and that was cut out of the picture."[63] She recorded "The Blues Are Brewin'" for the film's soundtrack. Other songs included in the movie are "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" and "Farewell to Storyville". Holiday's drug addictions were a problem on the set. She earned more than a thousand dollars a week from club ventures but spent most of it on heroin. Her lover, Joe Guy, traveled to Hollywood while Holiday was filming and supplied her with drugs. When discovered by Joe Glaser, Holiday's manager, Guy was banned from the set.[64] By the late 1940s, Holiday had begun recording a number of slow, sentimental ballads. Metronome expressed its concerns in 1946 about "Good Morning Heartache", saying, "there's a danger that Billie's present formula will wear thin, but up to now it's wearing well."[42] The New York Herald Tribune
New York Herald Tribune
reported of a concert in 1946 that her performance had little variation in melody and no change in tempo.[65] 1947–52: Legal troubles and Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall

Holiday at the Club Bali, Washington, with Al Dunn (drums), and Bobby Tucker (piano)

By 1947, Holiday was at her commercial peak, having made $250,000 in the three previous years.[66] She was ranked second in the DownBeat poll for 1946 and 1947, her highest ranking in that poll.[67] She was ranked fifth in Billboard's annual college poll of "girl singers" on July 6, 1947 ( Jo Stafford
Jo Stafford
was first).[68] In 1946, Holiday won the Metronome Magazine
Metronome Magazine
popularity poll.[69] On May 16, 1947, Holiday was arrested for possession of narcotics in her New York apartment. On May 27 she was in court. "It was called 'The United States of America versus Billie Holiday'. And that's just the way it felt," she recalled.[70] During the trial, she heard that her lawyer would not come to the trial to represent her. "In plain English that meant no one in the world was interested in looking out for me," she said. Dehydrated and unable to hold down food, she pleaded guilty and asked to be sent to the hospital. The district attorney spoke in her defense, saying, "If your honor please, this is a case of a drug addict, but more serious, however, than most of our cases, Miss Holiday is a professional entertainer and among the higher rank as far as income was concerned." She was sentenced to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia.

Holiday at the Downbeat club, New York, c. February 1947[1]

Holiday was released early (on March 16, 1948), because of good behavior. When she arrived at Newark, her pianist Bobby Tucker
Bobby Tucker
and her dog Mister were waiting. The dog leaped at Holiday, knocking off her hat, and tackling her to the ground. "He began lapping me and loving me like crazy," she said. A woman thought the dog was attacking Holiday. She screamed, a crowd gathered, and reporters arrived. "I might just as well have wheeled into Penn Station and had a quiet little get-together with the Associated Press, United Press, and International News Service," she said.[71] Ed Fishman (who fought with Joe Glaser to be Holiday's manager) thought of a comeback concert at Carnegie Hall. Holiday hesitated, unsure audiences would accept her after the arrest. She gave in and agreed to appear. On March 27, 1948, Holiday played Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
to a sold-out crowd. There were 2,700 tickets sold in advance, a record at the time for the venue. Her popularity was unusual, because she didn't have a current hit record.[72] Her last record to reach the charts was "Lover Man" in 1945. Holiday sang 32 songs at the Carnegie concert by her count, including Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and her 1930s hit, "Strange Fruit". During the show, someone sent her a box of gardenias. "My old trademark," Holiday said. "I took them out of box and fastened them smack to the side of my head without even looking twice." There was a hatpin in the gardenias and Holiday, unknowingly, stuck it into the side of her head. "I didn't feel anything until the blood started rushing down in my eyes and ears," she said. After the third curtain call, she passed out.[73] On April 27, 1948, Bob Sylvester and her promoter Al Wilde arranged a Broadway show for her. Titled Holiday on Broadway, it sold out. "The regular music critics and drama critics came and treated us like we were legit," she said. But it closed after three weeks.[74] Holiday was arrested again on January 22, 1949, in her room at the Hotel Mark Twain in San Francisco.

Holiday in court over a contract dispute, late 1949

Holiday said she began using hard drugs in the early 1940s. She married the trombonist Jimmy Monroe on August 25, 1941. While still married, she became involved with the trumpeter Joe Guy, who was her drug dealer. She divorced Monroe in 1947 and also split with Guy. In October 1949, Holiday recorded "Crazy He Calls Me", which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. Gabler said the hit was her most successful recording for Decca after "Lover Man". The charts of the 1940s did not list songs outside the top 30, making it impossible to recognize minor hits. By the late 1940s, despite her popularity and concert power, her singles were little played on radio, perhaps because of her reputation.[75] Holiday's New York City
New York City
Cabaret Card was revoked because of her 1947 conviction, preventing her working anywhere that sold alcohol for the remaining 12 years of her life. The cabaret system started in 1940 and was intended to prevent people of "bad character" from working on licensed premises. A performer had to renew the license every two years. The system lasted until 1967.[citation needed] Clubs that sold alcohol in New York were among the highest-paying in the country. Club owners knew blacklisted performers had limited work and could offer a smaller salary. This reduced Holiday's earnings. She had not received proper record royalties until she joined Decca, so her main revenue was club concerts. The problem worsened when Holiday's records went out of print in the 1950s. She seldom received royalties in her later years. In 1958, she received a royalty of only $11.[76][77] Her lawyer in the late 1950s, Earle Warren Zaidins, registered with BMI only two songs she had written or co-written, costing her revenue.[78] In 1948, Holiday played at the Ebony Club, which, because she lost her cabaret card, was against the law. Her manager, John Levy, was convinced he could get her card back and allowed her to open without one. "I opened scared," Holiday said, "[I was] expecting the cops to come in any chorus and carry me off. But nothing happened. I was a huge success."[79] Holiday recorded Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy" in 1948. In 1950, Holiday appeared in the Universal short film Sugar Chile Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie
Count Basie
and His Sextet, singing "God Bless the Child" and "Now, Baby or Never".[80] 1952–59: Lady Sings the Blues[edit] By the 1950s, Holiday's drug abuse, drinking, and relationships with abusive men caused her health to deteriorate. She appeared on the ABC reality series The Comeback Story to discuss attempts to overcome her misfortunes. Her later recordings showed the effects of declining health on her voice, as it grew coarse and no longer projected its former vibrancy. Holiday first toured Europe in 1954 as part of a Leonard Feather package. The Swedish impresario, Nils Hellstrom, initiated the "Jazz Club U.S.A." (after the Leonard Feather
Leonard Feather
radio show) tour starting in Stockholm
in January 1954 and then Germany, Netherlands, Paris and Switzerland. The tour party was Holiday, Buddy DeFranco, Red Norvo, Carl Drinkard, Elaine Leighton, Sonny Clark, Berryl Booker, Jimmy Raney, and Red Mitchell. A recording of a live set in Germany was released as Lady Love – Billie Holiday.[81] Holiday's late recordings for Verve constitute about a third of her commercially issued output and are as popular as her earlier records for Columbia, Commodore and Decca. In later years, her voice became more fragile, but it never lost the edge that had always made it distinctive. Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, was ghostwritten by William Dufty and published in 1956. Dufty, a New York Post
New York Post
writer and editor then married to Holiday's close friend Maely Dufty, wrote the book quickly from a series of conversations with the singer in the Duftys' 93rd Street apartment. He also drew on the work of earlier interviewers and intended to let Holiday tell her story in her own way.[82] In his 2015 study, Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, John Szwed argued that Lady Sings the Blues is a generally accurate account of her life, and that co-writer Dufty was forced to water down or suppress material by the threat of legal action. According to the reviewer Richard Brody, "Szwed traces the stories of two important relationships that are missing from the book—with Charles Laughton, in the 1930s, and with Tallulah Bankhead, in the late 1940s—and of one relationship that's sharply diminished in the book, her affair with Orson Welles
Orson Welles
around the time of Citizen Kane."[83] To accompany her autobiography, Holiday released the LP Lady Sings the Blues in June 1956. The album featured four new tracks, "Lady Sings the Blues", "Too Marvelous for Words", "Willow Weep for Me", and "I Thought About You", and eight new recordings of her biggest hits to date. The re-recordings included "Trav'lin' Light" "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child".[84] A review of the album was published by Billboard magazine on December 22, 1956, calling it a worthy musical complement to her autobiography. "Holiday is in good voice now," wrote the reviewer, "and these new readings will be much appreciated by her following." "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child" were called classics, and "Good Morning Heartache", another reissued track on the LP, was also noted favorably.[85] On November 10, 1956, Holiday performed two concerts before packed audiences at Carnegie Hall. Live recordings of the second Carnegie Hall concert were released on a Verve/HMV album in the UK in late 1961 called The Essential Billie Holiday. The 13 tracks included on this album featured her own songs "I Love My Man", "Don't Explain" and "Fine and Mellow", together with other songs closely associated with her, including "Body and Soul", "My Man", and "Lady Sings the Blues" (her lyrics accompanied a tune by pianist Herbie Nichols).[86] The liner notes for this album were written partly by Gilbert Millstein of the New York Times, who, according to these notes, served as narrator of the Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
concerts. Interspersed among Holiday's songs, Millstein read aloud four lengthy passages from her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. He later wrote:

The narration began with the ironic account of her birth in Baltimore – 'Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen, and I was three' – and ended, very nearly shyly, with her hope for love and a long life with 'my man' at her side. It was evident, even then, that Miss Holiday was ill. I had known her casually over the years and I was shocked at her physical weakness. Her rehearsal had been desultory; her voice sounded tinny and trailed off; her body sagged tiredly. But I will not forget the metamorphosis that night. The lights went down, the musicians began to play and the narration began. Miss Holiday stepped from between the curtains, into the white spotlight awaiting her, wearing a white evening gown and white gardenias in her black hair. She was erect and beautiful; poised and smiling. And when the first section of narration was ended, she sang – with strength undiminished – with all of the art that was hers. I was very much moved. In the darkness, my face burned and my eyes. I recall only one thing. I smiled."[87]

The critic Nat Hentoff of DownBeat
magazine, who attended the Carnegie Hall concert, wrote the remainder of the sleeve notes on the 1961 album. He wrote of Holiday's performance:

Throughout the night, Billie was in superior form to what had sometimes been the case in the last years of her life. Not only was there assurance of phrasing and intonation; but there was also an outgoing warmth, a palpable eagerness to reach and touch the audience. And there was mocking wit. A smile was often lightly evident on her lips and her eyes as if, for once, she could accept the fact that there were people who did dig her. The beat flowed in her uniquely sinuous, supple way of moving the story along; the words became her own experiences; and coursing through it all was Lady's sound – a texture simultaneously steel-edged and yet soft inside; a voice that was almost unbearably wise in disillusion and yet still childlike, again at the centre. The audience was hers from before she sang, greeting her and saying good-bye with heavy, loving applause. And at one time, the musicians too applauded. It was a night when Billie was on top, undeniably the best and most honest jazz singer alive.

Her performance of "Fine and Mellow" on CBS's The Sound of Jazz program is memorable for her interplay with her long-time friend Lester Young. Both were less than two years from death. Young died in March 1959. Holiday wanted to sing at his funeral, but her request was denied. When Holiday returned to Europe almost five years later, in 1959, she made one of her last television appearances for Granada's Chelsea at Nine in London. Her final studio recordings were made for MGM Records in 1959, with lush backing from Ray Ellis and his Orchestra, who had also accompanied her on the Columbia album Lady in Satin
Lady in Satin
the previous year (see below). The MGM sessions were released posthumously on a self-titled album, later retitled and re-released as Last Recording. On March 28, 1957, Holiday married Louis McKay, a Mafia
enforcer. McKay, like most of the men in her life, was abusive.[88] They were separated at the time of her death, but McKay had plans to start a chain of Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
vocal studios, on the model of the Arthur Murray dance schools. Holiday was childless, but she had two godchildren: the singer Billie Lorraine Feather (the daughter of Leonard Feather) and Bevan Dufty (the son of William Dufty).[82] Death[edit] By early 1959 Holiday was diagnosed with Cirrhosis. Although she had initially stopped drinking on her doctor's orders, it was not long before she relapsed.[89] By May of the same year she had lost 20 pounds (9 kg). Joe Glaser (Holiday's manager), prominent jazz critic Leonard Feather, photojournalist and editor Allan Morrison, and the singer's own friends all tried in vain to persuade her to go to a hospital.[90] On May 31, 1959, Holiday was taken to Metropolitan Hospital
Metropolitan Hospital
in New York for treatment of liver disease and heart disease. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, under the order of Harry J. Anslinger, had been targeting Holiday since at least 1939.[91] She was arrested and handcuffed for drug possession as she lay dying, her hospital room was raided and she was placed under police guard.[91] On July 15, she received the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church[92] and died two days later, at the age of 44, on July 17, 1959, at 3:10 a.m., of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver.[93][94] In her final years, she had been progressively swindled out[by whom?] of her earnings, and she died with $0.70 (US$6 in 2017 dollars[95]) in the bank and $750 (US$6,296 in 2017 dollars[95]), which was a tabloid fee, on her person. Her funeral Mass was on July 21, 1959, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan. She was buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery
Saint Raymond's Cemetery
in the Bronx. Gilbert Millstein, of New York Times, who was the announcer at Holiday's 1956 Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
concerts and wrote parts of the sleeve notes for the album The Essential Billie Holiday (see above), described her death in these sleeve notes, dated 1961:

Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
died in Metropolitan Hospital, New York, on Friday, July 17, 1959, in the bed in which she had been arrested for illegal possession of narcotics a little more than a month before, as she lay mortally ill; in the room from which a police guard had been removed – by court order – only a few hours before her death, which, like her life, was disorderly and pitiful. She had been strikingly beautiful, but she was wasted physically to a small, grotesque caricature of herself. The worms of every kind of excess – drugs were only one – had eaten her. The likelihood exists that among the last thoughts of this cynical, sentimental, profane, generous and greatly talented woman of 44 was the belief that she was to be arraigned the following morning. She would have been, eventually, although possibly not that quickly. In any case, she removed herself finally from the jurisdiction of any court here below.[87]

Vocal style and range[edit] Holiday's delivery made her performances recognizable throughout her career. Her improvisation compensated for lack of musical education. Her contralto voice[96] lacked range and was thin, and years of drug use altered its texture and gave it a fragile, raspy sound. Holiday said that she always wanted her voice to sound like an instrument and some of her influences were Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
and the singer Bessie Smith.[97][full citation needed] Her last major recording, a 1958 album entitled Lady in Satin, features the backing of a 40-piece orchestra conducted and arranged by Ray Ellis, who said of the album in 1997:

I would say that the most emotional moment was her listening to the playback of "I'm a Fool to Want You." There were tears in her eyes ... After we finished the album I went into the control room and listened to all the takes. I must admit I was unhappy with her performance, but I was just listening musically instead of emotionally. It wasn't until I heard the final mix a few weeks later that I realized how great her performance really was.[98]

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
was influenced by her performances on 52nd Street as a young man. He told Ebony magazine in 1958 about her impact:

With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day
Lady Day
is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.[99]

Discography[edit] Main article: Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
discography Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
recorded extensively for four labels: Columbia Records, which issued her recordings on its subsidiary labels Brunswick Records, Vocalion Records, and OKeh Records, from 1933 through 1942; Commodore Records
Commodore Records
in 1939 and 1944; Decca Records
Decca Records
from 1944 through 1950; briefly for Aladdin Records
Aladdin Records
in 1951; Verve Records
Verve Records
and on its earlier imprint Clef Records; from 1952 through 1957, then again for Columbia Records
Columbia Records
from 1957 to 1958 and finally for MGM Records in 1959. Many of Holiday's recordings appeared on 78-rpm records prior to the long-playing vinyl record era, and only Clef, Verve, and Columbia issued albums during her lifetime that were not compilations of previously released material. Many compilations have been issued since her death; as well as comprehensive box sets and live recordings.[100][101] Hit records[edit] In 1986, Joel Whitburn's company Record Research compiled information on the popularity of recordings released from the era predating rock and roll and created pop charts dating back to the beginning of the commercial recording industry. The company's findings were published in the book Pop Memories 1890–1954. Several of Holiday's records are listed on the pop charts Whitburn created.[102] Holiday began her recording career on a high note with her first major release, "Riffin' the Scotch", of which 5,000 copies were sold. It was released under the name " Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
& His Orchestra."[102] Most of Holiday's early successes were released under the name "Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra." During her stay in Wilson's band, Holiday would sing a few bars and then other musicians would have a solo. Wilson, one of the most influential jazz pianists of the swing era,[103] accompanied Holiday more than any other musician. He and Holiday issued 95 recordings together.[104] In July 1936, Holiday began releasing sides under her own name. These songs were released under the band name " Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
& Her Orchestra."[105] Most noteworthy, the popular jazz standard "Summertime" sold well and was listed on the pop charts of the time at number 12, the first time the jazz standard charted. Only Billy Stewart's R&B version of "Summertime" reached a higher chart placement than Holiday's, charting at number 10 thirty years later in 1966.[106] Holiday had 16 best selling songs in 1937, making the year her most commercially successful. It was in this year that Holiday scored her sole number one hit as a featured vocalist on the available pop charts of the 1930s, "Carelessly". The hit "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm", was also recorded by Ray Noble, Glen Gray
Glen Gray
and Fred Astaire whose rendering was a best seller for weeks.[107] Holiday's version ranked 6 on the year-end single chart available for 1937.[47] In 1939, Holiday recorded her biggest selling record, "Strange Fruit" for Commodore, charting at number 16 on the available pop charts for the 1930s.[108] In 1940, Billboard began publishing its modern pop charts, which included the Best Selling Retail Records chart, the precursor to the Hot 100. None of Holiday's songs placed on the modern pop charts, partly because Billboard only published the first ten slots of the charts in some issues. Minor hits and independent releases had no way of being spotlighted. "God Bless the Child", which went on to sell over a million copies, ranked number 3 on Billboard's year-end top songs of 1941.[48] On October 24, 1942, Billboard began issuing its R&B charts. Two of Holiday's songs placed on the chart, "Trav'lin' Light" with Paul Whiteman, which topped the chart, and "Lover Man", which reached number 5. "Trav'lin' Light" also reached 18 on Billboard's year-end chart. Studio LPs[edit]

Billie Holiday Sings (1952) An Evening with Billie Holiday
An Evening with Billie Holiday
(1952) Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
(1954) Stay with Me (1955) Music for Torching (1955) Velvet Mood
Velvet Mood
(1956) Lady Sings the Blues (1956) Body and Soul (1957) Songs for Distingué Lovers
Songs for Distingué Lovers
(1957) All or Nothing at All (1958) Lady in Satin
Lady in Satin
(1958) Last Recording
Last Recording

Awards and nominations[edit] Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Billie Holiday Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
received numerous awards and accolades while still alive and posthumously. These include being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Ertegun Jazz
Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the ASCAP Jazz
Wall of Fame. Filmography[edit]

1950: 'Sugar Chile' Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie
Count Basie
and His Sextet 1947: New Orleans 1935: Symphony in Black, short (with Duke Ellington) 1933: The Emperor Jones, appeared as an extra

Television appearances[edit]

Year Program Host Songs

10/14/48 We the People (U.S. TV series) Dwight Weist Unknown Songs

1949 Adventures in Jazz Fred Robbins Unknown Songs

August 27, 1949 Arlene Francis
Arlene Francis
Show, NY (1) Arlene Francis "The Man I Love", "All of Me", "Lover Man"

August 27, 1949 Eddie Condon's Floor Show, NY (1) Eddie Condon "I Love My Man", "Keeps on Rainin'", "Lover Man"

March 9, 1949 Eddie Condon's Floor Show, NY (1) Eddie Condon "Fine & Mellow", "Porgy", "Them There Eyes", "I Love My Man"

October 9, 1949 Art Ford Show, NY (1) Art Ford "Lover Man", "I Cover the Waterfront", Two-Minute Interview, "All of Me"

October 15, 1949 Art Ford Show, NY (1) Art Ford "Them There Eyes", "Detour Ahead", "Now or Never"

July 1, 1950 Eddie Condon's Floor Show, NY Eddie Condon Unknown

May 24, 1950 Apollo Theatre Show, NY (1) – "You're My Thrill"

July 25, 1951 Apollo Theatre Show, NY (1) – "My Man"

October 12, 1952 Apollo Theatre Show, NY (1) Count Basie "Tenderly"

October 16, 1953 The Comeback Story, NY (1) George Jessel Twenty-Minute Interview, "God Bless the Child"

August 2, 1955 The Tonight Show, NY (1) Steve Allen "My Man", "Them There Eyes", "Lover Man"

October 2, 1956 The Tonight Show, NY (1) Steve Allen "Please Don't Talk
About Me", Two-Minute Interview, "Ghost of a Chance"

August 13, 1956 Stars of Jazz, LA, CA (2) Bobby Troup "Please Don't Talk
About Me When I'm Gone", "Billie's Blues", "My Man"

October 29, 1956 Bandstand USA, NY (1) Bert Parks "Willow Weep for Me", "I Only Have Eyes for You", "My Man", "Please Don't Talk
About Me"

July 11, 1956 Night Beat, NY (1) Mike Wallace Fifteen-Minute Interview

August 11, 1956 Peacock Alley, NY (1) Tex McCrary Twenty-Minute Interview

August 11, 1956 The Tonight Show, NY (1) Steve Allen "Porgy"

November 3, 1957 Live Broadcast from Mr. Kelly's, Chicago (1) – "Good Morning Heartache", "You Better Go Now"

August 12, 1957 The Seven Lively Arts: The Sound of Jazz, LA (2) – "Fine & Mellow"

October 5, 1958 Club Oasis, NY (1)[citation needed] Martha Raye "You've Changed", "My Man"

May 26, 1958 Telethon, NY Dean Martin Unknown Songs

May 29, 1958 Art Ford's Jazz
Party, WNTA-TV NY (2) Art Ford "You've Changed", "I Love My Man", "When Your Lover Has Gone"

May 6, 1958 Art Ford's Jazz
Party, NY Art Ford "All of Me", "Good Morning Heartache", "Travelin' Light"

October 7, 1958 Art Ford's Jazz
Party, NY (2) Art Ford "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", "Foolin' Myself", "It's Easy to Remember"

July 17, 1958 Art Ford's Jazz
Party, NY (2) Art Ford "Moanin' Low", "Don't Explain", "When Your Lover Has Gone"

September 25, 1958 Today Show Dave Garroway "My Funny Valentine"

November 18, 1958 Mars Club, Music Hall Parade Voyons Un Peu, Paris France (2) – "I Only Have Eyes for You"

November 20, 1958 Gilles Margaritis Programme, Paris France (2) Gilles Margaritis "Trav'lin' Light"

July 1, 1959 Timex All-Star Jazz
Show IV, NY Jackie Gleason Unknown

February 23, 1959 Chelsea at Nine, London, England (2) Robert Beatty "Porgy", "Please Don't Talk
About Me", "Strange Fruit"

(1) = Available on Audio (2) = Available on DVD See also[edit]

portal Biography portal

Book: Billie Holiday

List of craters on Venus List of people on the postage stamps of the United States List of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


^ a b Spencer, Neil. Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth Review – A Celebration of a True Original. The Guardian. May 3, 2015. ^ Ostendorf, Berndt (January 1, 1993). "Review of Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday". Popular Music. 12 (2): 201–202. doi:10.1017/s0261143000005602. JSTOR 931303.  ^ Clarke 2000, p. 9. ^ a b Howard, Patrick. "About Billie Holiday: Biography". Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2013.  ^ " Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Biography". Biography.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2009.  ^ Dufour, American National Biography Online ^ O'Meally, Robert (1991). Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306809590. OCLC 45009756.  ^ Nicholson, pp. 18–23. ^ Clarke 2000, p. xiii. ^ Nicholson, pp. 21–22. ^ Nicholson, pp. 22–24. ^ Nicholson, p. 25. ^ Nicholson, p. 27. ^ Eff, Elaine (2013). The Painted Screens of Baltimore: an Urban Folk Art Revealed. The University Press of Mississippi. p. 63. ISBN 1617038911.  ^ Nicholson, p. 31. ^ Nicholson, p. 32. ^ Nicholson, pp. 35–37. ^ Vail, Ken (1997). Lady Day's Diary. London: Sanctuary Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 1-86074-131-2.  ^ Nicholson, pp. 35–39. ^ Nicholson, p. 39. ^ Gourse 2000, p. 73. ^ Nicholson, p. 56. ^ "Billie Holiday: Biography & History". AllMusic.com. Retrieved February 24, 2016.  ^ Nicholson, p. 65. ^ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Discography: The Composers Archived March 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Network Offline Archived May 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Jazznbossa.ning.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Gourse 2000, pp. 73–74. ^ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Page Archived August 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Soulwalking.co.uk. Retrieved November 13, 2010. ^ Nicholson, pp. 93–94. ^ Gourse 2000, p. 40. ^ " Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Live Songs". Billieholidaysongs.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2012.  ^ Nicholson, pp. 96–97. ^ Holiday, p. 80. ^ Gourse 2000, pp. 103–104. ^ Nicholson, pp. 100–107. ^ Nicholson, p. 70. ^ Nicholson, p. 102. ^ Margolick, David (2000). Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights. Philadelphia: Running Press. pp. 25–27. ^ Margolick, Strange Fruit, pp. 40–46. ^ Clarke 2000, p. 169. ^ Holiday, Billie (2006). Lady Sings the Blues. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Harlem
Moon. Originally published by Doubleday, New York, 1956. p. 95. ^ a b Nicholson, p. 113. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, p. 95. ^ Nicholson, p. 115. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, pp. 104–105. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, pp. 100–101. ^ a b Song artist 250 – Billie Holiday. Tsort.info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. ^ a b Jazz
History: The Standards (1940s). Jazzstandards.com. Retrieved November 13, 2010. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame Archived July 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Grammy.com (February 8, 2009). Retrieved on 2010-11-13. ^ Ghosts of Yesterday: Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
and the Two Irenes (March 4, 2006) ^ Nicholson, p. 130. ^ Harlem
Hit Parade – The eMusic Dozen. Emusic.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Nicholson, p. 133. ^ a b Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Studio Songs Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Nicholson, p. 150. ^ Nicholson, p. 122. ^ Shaw, Arnold (1971). 52nd Street, the Street of Jazz. Da Capo Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-306-80068-9.  ^ a b c " Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) (1942)". Jazzstandards.com. October 4, 1944. Retrieved May 7, 2015.  ^ Alagna, Magdalena (2003). Billie Holiday. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 61. ISBN 0-8239-3640-6. ^ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Studio Songs Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Live Songs Archived April 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Nicholson, pp. 152–155. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, pp. 136–140. ^ Nicholson, pp. 152–157. ^ Nicholson, p. 151. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, pp. 147–149. ^ Nicholson, p. 155. ^ Search the Billboard Magazine Archives. Billboard.com. Retrieved November 13, 2010. ^ Chilton, John (1975). Billie's Blues: The Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Story, 1933–1959. Part 3. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, p. 146. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, p. 165. ^ Nicholson, pp. 165–167. ^ Lady Sings the Blues pp. 168–169. ^ Lady Sings the Blues, pp. 172–173. ^ Clarke 2000, p. 327. ^ Nicholson, p. 229. ^ Nicholson, p. 167. ^ Nicholson, p. 215. ^ Autobiography "Lady Sings the Blues" p. 175. ^ Nicholson, p. 181. ^ Record notes, Lady Love – Billie Holiday, United Artists Records, UAL 8073; notes by Leonard Feather
Leonard Feather
and LeRoi Jones. ^ a b Hamlin, Jesse (September 18, 2006). "Billie Holiday's Bio, 'Lady Sings the Blues,' May Be Full of Lies, but It Gets at Jazz
Great's Core". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 31, 2010.  ^ Brody, Richard (April 3, 2015). "The Art of Billie Holiday's Life". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 6, 2015.  ^ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Vinyl Discography Archived July 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ "Billboard – Google Books". Books.google.com. December 22, 1956. Retrieved May 7, 2015.  ^ Billie Holiday: 1956 at the Carnegie Hall. The Essential Billie Holiday Archived June 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b Millstein, Gilbert. The Essential Billie Holiday (liner notes).  ^ Fulford, Robert (May 17, 2005). "Trying to Find the Real Lady Day: Those Who Try to Tell Billie Holiday's Story Often Discover an Unknowable Life". Robertfulford.com. Retrieved May 7, 2015.  ^ Feather, Leonard (1987). From Satchmo to Miles. Da Capo Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-306-80302-4.  ^ Feather, p. 83. ^ a b Hair, Johann (January 17, 2015). "The Hunting of Billie Holiday: How Lady Day
Lady Day
Found Herself in the Middle of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics' Early Fight for Survival". Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2015.  ^ White, John (1987). Billie Holiday: Her Life & Times. Spellmount.  ^ " Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Biography". Biography.com. p. 3.  ^ " Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Dies Here at 44. Jazz
Singer Had Wide Influence". The New York Times. July 18, 1959. Retrieved November 25, 2013. Billie Holiday, famed jazz singer, died yesterday in Metropolitan Hospital. Her age was 44. The immediate cause of death was given as congestion of the lungs complicated by heart failure.  ^ a b Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.  ^ O'Meally 1991, p. 40. ^ "Billie Holiday". New York Jazz
Museum, 1970. ^ Interview on KCSM ^ Clarke 2000, p. 96. ^ [1] Archived February 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Billie Holiday. AllMusic. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ a b Donald, p. 74. ^ : JazzNotes. JazzNotes for Educators: Teddy Wilson. Riverwalkjazz.org. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Billie Holiday
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Studio Songs Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Song Title 70: Summertime. Tsort.info. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ No. 1 Songs – 1930–1989. Ntl.matrix.com.br. Retrieved on November 13, 2010. ^ Billie Holiday
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Studio Songs Archived April 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Billieholidaysongs.com. Retrieved on November 13, 2010.


Blackburn, Julia (2006). With Billie: A New Look at the Unforgettable Lady Day. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-40610-7.  Chilton, John (1989). Billie's Blues: The Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Story 1933–1959. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80363-1.  Clarke, Donald (2000). Billie Holiday: Wishing on the Moon. Cambridge: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81136-7.  Davis, Angela Y. (1998). Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-77126-3.  Gourse, Leslie (2000). The Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Companion: Seven Decades of Commentary. New York: Schirmer Trade Books. ISBN 0-02-864613-4.  Griffin, Farah Jasmine (2001). If You Can't Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-684-86808-3.  Holiday, Billie; Dufty, William (1957). Lady Sings the Blues. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-14-006762-0.  Ingham, Chris (2000). Billie Holiday. Darby, Pennsylvania: Diane Publishing. ISBN 1-56649-170-3.  James, Burnett (1984). Billie Holiday. Gloucestershire, England: Spellmount Publishers. ISBN 0-946771-05-7.  Kaplan, Samuel W. (February 2002). "Strange Fruit". Humanity & Society. Volume 26, No. 1. pp. 77–83.  Katz, Joel (2002). California Newsreel: Strange Fruit.  Millar, Jack (1994). Fine and Mellow: A Discography of Billie Holiday. London: Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Circle. ISBN 1-899161-00-7.  Nicholson, Stuart (1995). Billie Holiday. Boston: Northeastern University Press. ISBN 1-55553-303-5.  O'Meally, Robert (1991). Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80959-0. OCLC 45009756.  Szwed, John (2015). Billie Holiday: The Musician and The Myth. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0670014729. 

Further reading[edit]

Chow, Andrew R. (September 9, 2015). "Billie Holiday, via Hologram, Returning to the Apollo". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Billie Holiday.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at Encyclopædia Britannica Official Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at Sony BMG Biography and song samples at PBS "Twelve Essential Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Recordings" by Stuart Nicholson, Jazz.com Billie Holiday: Year Of Lady Day
Lady Day
by Alex Henderson, The New York City Jazz
Record A Short History of Billie Holiday Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
on IMDb Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at the Playbill

v t e

Billie Holiday

Discography Awards and nominations


Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Sings/Solitude An Evening with Billie Holiday Billie Holiday Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at JATP Stay with Me Music for Torching Velvet Mood Lady Sings the Blues Body and Soul Songs for Distingué Lovers Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
and Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
at Newport All or Nothing at All Lady in Satin Last Recording The Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Concert Recorded Live Lady in Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
on Columbia 1933–1944 Remixed and Reimagined


"Ain't Nobody's Business" "As Time Goes By" "Billie's Blues" "Blue Moon" "Body and Soul" "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" "Don't Explain" "Easy Living" "Embraceable You" "Everything Happens for the Best" "Everything Happens to Me" "Fine and Mellow" "Gloomy Sunday" "God Bless the Child" "Good Morning Heartache" "I Cover the Waterfront" "I Loves You, Porgy" "I Thought About You" "I'll Be Seeing You" "I'll Get By" "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" "Just One of Those Things" "Lady Sings the Blues" "Left Alone" "Love for Sale" "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)" "Me, Myself, and I" "Miss Brown to You" "My Man" "Moonlight in Vermont" "Night and Day" "No More" "Now or Never" "Our Love Is Different" "P.S. I Love You" "Pennies from Heaven" "Please Don't Do It Here" "Preacher Boy" "Sophisticated Lady" "Stormy Blues" "Strange Fruit" "Summertime" "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" "Too Marvelous for Words" "Trav'lin' Light" "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" "What Is This Thing Called Love?" "Who Needs You (Baby)" "Why Was I Born?" "Willow Weep for Me" "You Go to My Head"

Related topics

"Angel of Harlem" Lady Sings the Blues (book) Lady Sings the Blues (film) Lady Sings the Blues (soundtrack)

Book Category

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 2000


Eric Clapton Earth, Wind & Fire (Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Johnny Graham, Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Fred White, Maurice White, Verdine White, Andrew Woolfolk) The Lovin' Spoonful
The Lovin' Spoonful
(Steve Boone, Joe Butler, John Sebastian, Zal Yanovsky) The Moonglows
The Moonglows
(Prentiss Barnes, Harvey Fuqua, Peter Graves, Billy Johnson, Bobby Lester) Bonnie Raitt James Taylor

Early influences

Nat King Cole Billie Holiday

Non-performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Clive Davis


Hal Blaine King Curtis James Jamerson Scotty Moore Earl Palmer

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Maryland Women's Hall of Fame


Margaret Brent Rachel Carson Rita C. Davidson Gladys Spellman Harriet Tubman


Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson Elizabeth Ann Seton Henrietta Szold Jeanette Rosner Wolman Hiltgunt Zassenhaus


Clara Barton Frances Harper Juanita Jackson Mitchell Mary Shaw Shorb Helen B. Taussig


Barbara Mikulski Sadie Kneller Miller Mary Eliza Risteau Martha Carey Thomas Verda Welcome


Bertha Adkins Eugenie Clark Lavinia Engle Lena King Lee Estelle R. Ramey


Lucille Maurer Enolia McMillan Pauli Murray Adele Hagner Stamp Mary Lemist Titcomb


Rita R. Colwell Mary Elizabeth Lange Claire McCardell Bessie Moses Alta Schrock


Annie Armstrong Anna Ella Carroll Rose Kushner Margaret Collins Schweinhaut Carmen Delgado Votaw


Rosalyn Blake Bell Lucille Clifton Elizabeth King Ellicott Jean Spencer Martha Ellicott Tyson


Rosalie Silber Abrams Mary Elizabeth Banning Harriet Elizabeth Brown Connie Morella Mary Adelaide Nutting


Jill Moss Greenberg Mary L. Nock Amanda Taylor Norris Nettie Barcroft Taylor Euphemia Mary Goldsborough Willson


Madeleine L. Ellicott Ethel Ennis Mary Digges Lee Brigid G. Leventhal Barbara A. Robinson


Diane L. Adams Sol del Ande Mendez Eaton Catherine R. Gira Helen L. Koss Rosa Ponselle


Constance Ross Beims Mary Katherine Goddard Elaine Ryan Hedges Mary Carter Smith


Florence Riefle Bahr Lillian C. Compton Edith Houghton Hooker Elizabeth Fran Johnson Bernice Smith White


Constance Uriolo Battle Lois Green Carr Sonia Pressman Fuentes Josephine Jacobsen Rosetta Stith


Kathleen Feeley Misbah Khan (pediatrician) Charmaine Krohe Eunice Kennedy Shriver Sandra W. Tomlinson


Mabel Houze Hubbard Florence P Kendall Mary Young Pickersgill Lorraine Sheehan


Virginia Walcott Beauchamp Edith Clarke Kathryn J. DuFour Ruth L. Kirschstein Etta H. Maddox Debbie Yow


Edmonson sisters Nancy Grasmick Esther McCready Margaret Byrd Rawson Vivian V. Simpson


Shoshanna Shoubin Cardin Bessie Olive Cole Susan R. Panny Edyth H. Schoenrich


Susan P. Baker Liebe Sokol Diamond Bea Gaddy Marilyn Hughes Gaston Rebecca Alban Hoffberger Grace Snively


Annette M.Deener Sally T. Grant Prasanna Nair Karen H. Rothenberg Audrey E. Scott


Ramona McCarthy Hawkins Ellen Moses Heller Billie Holiday Pauline Menes Toby Orenstein Emily Wilson Walker


Ilia Fehrer Diane E. Griffin Harriet Legum Allyson R. Solomon Anne St. Clair Wright


Claire M. Fraser Anne Catherine Hoof Green Irene Morgan Kirkaldy Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps Bernice R. Sandler Lillie D. Shockney


Carol W. Greider Barbara Holdridge Ligia Peralta Gertrude Poe Lucy Diggs Slowe June A. Willenz


Maureen Black Margaret Dunkle Nancy Kopp Alice Manicur Diana Gribbon Motz Gwendolyn Rooks


Helen Delich Bentley Jean B. Cryor Charlene Mickens Dukes Ellen Sauerbrey Linda A. Shevitz Beatrice P. Tignor


Dorothy F. Bailey Agnes Kane Callum Renee E. Fox Susan K. Goering Henrietta Lacks Ann Cipriano Rees


Beverly B. Byron E. Gail de Planque Mary S. Feik Katherine O'Brien Linda L. Singh Sue Fryer Ward


Sophia Arabatzis Balis Oretha Bridgwaters-Simms Mary C. Goodwillie Elaine Danforth Harmon Joanne Katz Lizette Woodworth Reese


Marsha Coleman-Adebayo Carolyn W. Colvin Donna F. Edwards Mary Elizabeth Garrett Katharine Blodgett Gebbie Kathleen Ledecky Helen Maroulis Lilian Welsh

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Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame



Jane Addams Marian Anderson Susan B. Anthony Clara Barton Mary McLeod Bethune Elizabeth Blackwell Pearl S. Buck Rachel Carson Mary Cassatt Emily Dickinson Amelia Earhart Alice Hamilton Helen Hayes Helen Keller Eleanor Roosevelt Florence Sabin Margaret Chase Smith Elizabeth Cady Stanton Helen Brooke Taussig Harriet Tubman


Abigail Adams Margaret Mead Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias


Dorothea Dix Juliette Gordon Low Alice Paul Elizabeth Bayley Seton



Margaret Sanger Sojourner Truth


Carrie Chapman Catt Frances Perkins


Belva Lockwood Lucretia Mott


Mary "Mother" Harris Jones Bessie Smith


Barbara McClintock Lucy Stone Harriet Beecher Stowe


Gwendolyn Brooks Willa Cather Sally Ride Ida B. Wells-Barnett



Margaret Bourke-White Barbara Jordan Billie Jean King Florence B. Seibert


Gertrude Belle Elion


Ethel Percy Andrus Antoinette Blackwell Emily Blackwell Shirley Chisholm Jacqueline Cochran Ruth Colvin Marian Wright Edelman Alice Evans Betty Friedan Ella Grasso Martha Wright Griffiths Fannie Lou Hamer Dorothy Height Dolores Huerta Mary Jacobi Mae Jemison Mary Lyon Mary Mahoney Wilma Mankiller Constance Baker Motley Georgia O'Keeffe Annie Oakley Rosa Parks Esther Peterson Jeannette Rankin Ellen Swallow Richards Elaine Roulet Katherine Siva Saubel Gloria Steinem Helen Stephens Lillian Wald Madam C. J. Walker Faye Wattleton Rosalyn S. Yalow Gloria Yerkovich


Bella Abzug Ella Baker Myra Bradwell Annie Jump Cannon Jane Cunningham Croly Catherine East Geraldine Ferraro Charlotte Perkins Gilman Grace Hopper Helen LaKelly Hunt Zora Neale Hurston Anne Hutchinson Frances Wisebart Jacobs Susette La Flesche Louise McManus Maria Mitchell Antonia Novello Linda Richards Wilma Rudolph Betty Bone Schiess Muriel Siebert Nettie Stevens Oprah Winfrey Sarah Winnemucca Fanny Wright


Virginia Apgar Ann Bancroft Amelia Bloomer Mary Breckinridge Eileen Collins Elizabeth Hanford Dole Anne Dallas Dudley Mary Baker Eddy Ella Fitzgerald Margaret Fuller Matilda Joslyn Gage Lillian Moller Gilbreth Nannerl O. Keohane Maggie Kuhn Sandra Day O'Connor Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin Pat Schroeder Hannah Greenebaum Solomon


Louisa May Alcott Charlotte Anne Bunch Frances Xavier Cabrini Mary A. Hallaren Oveta Culp Hobby Wilhelmina Cole Holladay Anne Morrow Lindbergh Maria Goeppert-Mayer Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose Maria Tallchief Edith Wharton


Madeleine Albright Maya Angelou Nellie Bly Lydia Moss Bradley Mary Steichen Calderone Mary Ann Shadd
Mary Ann Shadd
Cary Joan Ganz Cooney Gerty Cori Sarah Grimké Julia Ward Howe Shirley Ann Jackson Shannon Lucid Katharine Dexter McCormick Rozanne L. Ridgway Edith Nourse Rogers Felice Schwartz Eunice Kennedy Shriver Beverly Sills Florence Wald Angelina Grimké
Angelina Grimké
Weld Chien-Shiung Wu



Faye Glenn Abdellah Emma Smith DeVoe Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mary Dyer Sylvia A. Earle Crystal Eastman Jeanne Holm Leontine T. Kelly Frances Oldham Kelsey Kate Mullany Janet Reno Anna Howard Shaw Sophia Smith Ida Tarbell Wilma L. Vaught Mary Edwards Walker Annie Dodge Wauneka Eudora Welty Frances E. Willard


Dorothy H. Andersen Lucille Ball Rosalynn Carter Lydia Maria Child Bessie Coleman Dorothy Day Marian de Forest Althea Gibson Beatrice A. Hicks Barbara Holdridge Harriet Williams Russell Strong Emily Howell Warner Victoria Woodhull


Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis Ruth Bader Ginsburg Katharine Graham Bertha Holt Mary Engle Pennington Mercy Otis Warren


Linda G. Alvarado Donna de Varona Gertrude Ederle Martha Matilda Harper Patricia Roberts Harris Stephanie L. Kwolek Dorothea Lange Mildred Robbins Leet Patsy Takemoto Mink Sacagawea Anne Sullivan Sheila E. Widnall


Florence Ellinwood Allen Ruth Fulton Benedict Betty Bumpers Hillary Clinton Rita Rossi Colwell Mother Marianne Cope Maya Y. Lin Patricia A. Locke Blanche Stuart Scott Mary Burnett Talbert


Eleanor K. Baum Julia Child Martha Coffin Pelham Wright Swanee Hunt Winona LaDuke Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Judith L. Pipher Catherine Filene Shouse Henrietta Szold


Louise Bourgeois Mildred Cohn Karen DeCrow Susan Kelly-Dreiss Allie B. Latimer Emma Lazarus Ruth Patrick Rebecca Talbot Perkins Susan Solomon Kate Stoneman



St. Katharine Drexel Dorothy Harrison Eustis Loretta C. Ford Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley
Foster Helen Murray Free Billie Holiday Coretta Scott King Lilly Ledbetter Barbara A. Mikulski Donna E. Shalala Kathrine Switzer


Betty Ford Ina May Gaskin Julie Krone Kate Millett Nancy Pelosi Mary Joseph Rogers Bernice Sandler Anna Schwartz Emma Willard


Tenley Albright Nancy Brinker Martha Graham Marcia Greenberger Barbara Iglewski Jean Kilbourne Carlotta Walls LaNier Philippa Marrack Mary Harriman Rumsey Eleanor Smeal


Matilda Cuomo Temple Grandin Lorraine Hansberry Victoria Jackson Sherry Lansing Clare Boothe Luce Aimee Mullins Carol Mutter Janet Rowley Alice Waters

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 14857262 LCCN: n50033023 ISNI: 0000 0003 6857 1283 GND: 118706454 SELIBR: 270127 SUDOC: 02778360X BNF: cb12402944q (data) BIBSYS: 90138477 MusicBrainz: d59c4cda-11d9-48db-8bfe-b557ee602aed NLA: 35201923 NDL: 00522683 NKC: ola2002158382 BNE: XX916691 SN