Happy Birthday Ms Holliday






” The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever. More than a half-century after her death, it’s difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing. Billie Holiday‘s highly stylized reading of this blues tradition revolutionized traditional pop, ripping the decades-long tradition of song plugging in two by refusing to compromise her artistry for either the song or the band. She made clear her debts to Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong (in her autobiography she admitted, “I always wanted Bessie‘s big sound and Pops‘ feeling”), but in truth her style was virtually her own, quite a shock in an age of interchangeable crooners and band singers.

  With her spirit shining through on every recording, Holiday‘s technical expertise also excelled in comparison to the great majority of her contemporaries. Often bored by the tired old Tin Pan Alley songs she was forced to record early in her career, Holiday fooled around with the beat and the melody, phrasing behind the beat and often rejuvenating the standard melody with harmonies borrowed from her favorite horn players, Armstrong and Lester Young. (She often said she tried to sing like a horn.) Her notorious private life — a series of abusive relationships, substance addictions, and periods of depression — undoubtedly assisted her legendary status, but Holiday‘s best performances (“Lover Man,” “Don’t Explain,” “Strange Fruit,” her own composition “God Bless the Child”) remain among the most sensitive and accomplished vocal performances ever recorded. More than technical ability, more than purity of voice, what made Billie Holiday one of the best vocalists of the century — easily the equal of Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra — was her relentlessly individualist temperament, a quality that colored every one of her endlessly nuanced performances.

  Billie Holiday‘s chaotic life reportedly began in Baltimore on April 7, 1915 (a few reports say 1912) when she was born Eleanora Fagan Gough. Her father, Clarence Holiday, was a teenaged jazz guitarist and banjo player later to play in Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra. He never married her mother, Sadie Fagan, and left while his daughter was still a baby. (She would later run into him in New York, and though she contracted many guitarists for her sessions before his death in 1937, she always avoided using him.) Holiday‘s mother was also a young teenager at the time, and whether because of inexperience or neglect, often left her daughter with uncaring relatives. Holiday was sentenced to Catholic reform school at the age of ten, reportedly after she admitted being raped. Though sentenced to stay until she became an adult, a family friend helped get her released after just two years. With her mother, she moved in 1927, first to New Jersey and soon after to Brooklyn.” Continue Reading








New Orleans
1947 New Orleans Jazz Crusade  
  Billie Holiday, Vol. 2 1950 Billie Holiday, Vol. 2    
Billie Holiday Sings
1950 Billie Holiday Sings Mercury  
An Evening with Billie Holiday
1953 An Evening with Billie Holiday Decca / Verve  
  Billie Holiday, Vol. 3 1954 Billie Holiday, Vol. 3 Jolly Roger Records  
  Music for Torching 1955 Music for Torching Clef Records  
  A Recital by Billie Holiday 1956 A Recital by Billie Holiday Clef Records  
  Jazz Recital 1956 Jazz Recital Clef Records  
  Velvet Moods 1956 Velvet Moods Clef Records  
Lady Sings the Blues
1956 Lady Sings the Blues album review Verve  
Songs for Distingué Lovers
1957 Songs for Distingué Lovers album review Verve / PolyGram  
Body & Soul [Verve]
1957 Body & Soul [Verve] album review Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab  
Lady in Satin
1958 Lady in Satin album review Columbia  
  Blues Are Brewin' 1958 Blues Are Brewin’ Universal/Decca  
Stay with Me
1959 Stay with Me album review Verve  
  Comes Love   Comes Love Dazzling Dames  
  Lady in Satin: The Centennial   Lady in Satin: The Centennial    
  Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra   Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra Jazz Portraits  
Dove Collection
  Dove Collection Prism Leisure Corporation (UK)  
  100 Years of Lady Day   100 Years of Lady Day Documents  
  Magic   Magic Must Have Records  





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Happy birthday Billie , we love you .