Celebrating Lady Day’s 100th birthday.
Born Eleanora Fagan Gough on April 7, 1915 in Baltimore MD to unwed teenaged parents, and raised by uncaring relatives, Billie Holiday was sentenced to Catholic reform school at the age of ten and sexually abused before moving to NJ and then Brooklyn with her young mother in 1927. Working as a prostitute while singing and dancing in the early 30’s, she was discovered by record producer John Hammond (only 3 years her senior) in 1933. Holiday joined a small group led by Benny Goodman and played the NY club scene with names such as Teddy Wilson, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster before teaming up with the Count Basie Orchestra and her long time musical collaborating partner Lester Young whom she affectionately nicknamed “Pres”.
Holiday’s vocal style and range were limited compared to some of her contemporaries such as Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, but her unique phrasing, melody and beat (especially early on) was often compared to the spirited vocals of Bessie Smith and the horn of Louis Armstrong. Her career and life was riddled by a series of abusive relationships, substance addictions, depression and a short period spent in prison, but what made her one of the greatest American vocalists of the 20th Century was her unique style and refusal to conform or compromise her art at any time or for anyone. She was an accomplished musician and performer with a deep understanding and connection to the blues. She not only sang it, she lived it.
Billie Holiday died in New York on July 17, 1959 at the age of 44.
Enjoy, Lady Sings The Blues.
01. Lady Sings The Blues 03:46
02. Come Rain Or Come Shine 04:25
03. Blue Moon 03:31
04. Good Morning Heartache 03:31
05. God Bless The Child 04:00
06. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home 03:06
07. Ill Wind 06:16
08. Autumn In New York 03:43
09. Don’t Worry ’bout Me 03:11
10. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore 03:55
11. Willow Weep For Me 03:08
12. It’s Not For Me To Say 02:29
13. My Man 02:38
14. Stormy Weather 03:43
15. When Your Lover Has Gone 05:00
16. I Must Have That Man! 03:05
17. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) 05:41
18. I’ll Never Smile Again 03:27