Theme Times – Billie Holiday

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Season 2 – Top 7

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Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer 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.

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 in 1935. Collaborations with 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 and Decca. 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.

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Top 7

1944 – I’ll Be Seeing You

1936 – Billie’s Blues (I Love My Man)

1952 – Blue Moon

1939 – Strange Fruit

Lover Man (Live @ Seven Ages Of Jazz Festival) Metrojazz Records 1958

1957 – Fine and Mellow

1940 – Body and Soul

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So there we go folks Billie Holiday! Were you a fan, or not?

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