Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan Gough, Philadelphia, PA, April 7, 1915 – New York City, NY, July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter.
Nicknamed Lady Day by her loyal friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday was a highly original influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Above all, she was admired for her deeply personal and intimate approach to singing. Read more on Last.fm
2015 Billie Holiday At Jazz At the Philharmonic (Expanded Edition) [Live]
2015 God Bless the Child: Best of Billie Holiday
2015 The Centennial Collection
2011 Lady Sings the Blues
2010 The Essential Billie Holiday
2009 The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters
2007 The Definitive Collection
2007 At Newport (Expanded Edition)
2007 Billie Holiday Remixed & Reimagined
2005 The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes
2005 Gold: Billie Holiday
2005 Billy Remembers Billie
2002 Billie Holiday for Lovers
2002 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Billie Holiday
2000 The Commodore Master Takes (1939-44)
2000 Ken Burns Jazz: Billie Holiday
1999 V Disc: A Musical Contribution By America's Best (For Our Armed Forces Overseas)
1998 Priceless Jazz Collection: More Billie Holiday
1997 The Complete Commodore Recordings
1996 Love Songs: Billie Holiday
1995 Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits
1994 Jazz 'Round Midnight: Billie Holiday
1992 The Complete Billie Holiday On Verve 1945-1959
1991 The Complete Decca Recordings
1991 Lady In Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years
1990 The Billie Holiday Songbook
1988 Billie's Blues
1980 Billie, Ella, Lena, Sarah
1961 The Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall Concert Recorded Live
1959 Billie Holiday
1958 Lady In Satin
1958 Lady In Satin (The Centennial Edition)
1958 Lady In Satin
1958 At Newport (Live)
1958 Stay With Me
1958 Lover Man
1958 The Blues Are Brewin'
1958 All or Nothing At All
1957 Billie Holiday
1957 Songs for Distingué Lovers
1957 Body and Soul
1956 The Lady Sings
1956 Velvet Mood
1955 Music for Torching
1954 Billie Holiday At Jazz At the Philharmonic (Live)
1953 An Evening With Billie Holiday
1945 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 8
1940 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 10
1940 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 9
1939 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 6
1938 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 5
1937 A Musical Romance
1937 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 3
1937 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 4
1936 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 2
1936 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 7
1935 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia (1933-1944)
1933 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 1
Feb 14, 2018
Lady Day's songs for all the distingué lovers out there!
"Then I kiss your lips, and the pounding becomes
An oceans roar, a thousand drums
Can't you see it's love, can there be any doubt
When there it is, day in - day out"
Feb 09, 2018
"I guess I'll go thru life just catchin' colds and missin' planes
Everything happens to me,
I never miss a thing..."
Jan 30, 2018
This is "Strange Fruit", a protest song that Billie Holiday very bravely performed first at the Cafe Society in 1939 under grave threats and at high personal cost. Her original recording label blanched at the prospect of recording it, sending Billie to Milt Gabler's Commodore Records (a 1930's record store turned indie record label). She would later record "Strange Fruit" again for her 1956 classic album, Lady Sings The Blues.
This song (originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol) has been inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame, Time Magazine called it the Song of the Century, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution listed the song as #1 on the "100 Songs of the South" and the Library of Congress has added to the National Recording Registry.
The chilling power of "Strange Fruit" would be born again when Nina Simone recorded her cover in 1965 (it's Nina's version sampled on Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves” featured on his 2013 release Yeezus) and over the years a diverse in every since of the word roster of artists have supported Billie and Abel's first stand in covering "Strange Fruit", one of the first profound protest songs.
Jan 18, 2018
The Recording Academy / GRAMMYs has included Billie's "My Man" into the GRAMMY 2018 Hall of Fame! Originally recorded in 1937 for Brunswick, "My Man" would become an evergreen song in Billie's repertoire. She would visit it again for Norman Granz's new label after the introduction of 10" vinyl and the song was an important part of her live set, appearing on her Live At The Newport Jazz Festival and Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall Concert albums.
"He's not much on looks
He's no hero out of books
But I love him
Yes, I love him"
Listen to "My Man" at your preferred streaming service! http://smarturl.it/BHMyMan
Dec 17, 2017
Billie Holiday - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Dec 12, 2017
The Grammy Hall of Fame album The Lady Sings The Blues. Every song on this album is iconic! Available on 180-gram vinyl as part of the new Classic Lady Day vinyl box set.
Listen again to Billie in 1956 here at Spotify, Apple or Amazon: http://smarturl.it/BHLadySingsBlues
There are many who would agree that classic jazz from the 1950s sounds best when played on the medium it was originally intended for - namely, the vinyl LP. Billie Holiday – Classic Lady Day is the new vinyl box set containing five of her most enduring albums, mastered on 180-gram vinyl, and presented in authentic period sleeves that reproduce the original artwork.
Classic Lady Day catches up with Holiday at the dawn of the LP age in the 1950s when she recorded for the Clef and Verve labels founded by jazz impresario and producer, Norman Granz. The opening album in the set is 1957's Solitude: Songs By Billie Holiday, which was first issued in 1952 as a 10-inch LP called Billie Holiday Sings for Granz's Clef imprint. It's a delightful small group session where Holiday's beguiling voice is framed by sympathetic and lightly-swinging arrangements played by sidemen that include pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Barney Kessell. Holiday's mournful version of Duke Ellington's immortal “Solitude,” with Charlie Shavers on trumpet, is particularly arresting. Holiday also puts her own inimitable stamp on the standards “You Go To My Head” and “These Foolish Things.”
A Recital By Billie Holiday is a 1956 compilation that includes fine readings of “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Stormy Weather,” while Velvet Moods - Songs By Billie Holiday issued the same year on Clef contains “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues.” Also issued in 1956 was Holiday's most famous album, Lady Sings The Blues, which she released to coincide with the publication of her same-titled autobiography. It contains the classic title song - co-written by the singer - and another original iconic tune, “God Bless The Child.” Another highlight is her haunting version of American writer Lewis Allan's provocative but poignant anti-lynching poem set to music, “Strange Fruit.” Classic Lady Day concludes with the 1958 Verve LP, All Or Nothing At All, released a year before the singer's death. It contains memorable performances of “April In Paris,” “Sophisticated Lady,” and “Love Is Here To Stay.”
Pre-order Billie Holiday – Classic Lady Day Vinyl Box Set: https://lnk.to/ClassicLady5LP
Pre-order Billie Holiday – Classic Lady Day Vinyl Box Set: https://lnk.to/ClassicLady5CD
Nov 23, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving! Here is how Miss Billie Holiday spent her Thanksgiving in 1957!
Nov 11, 2017
Lady Sings The Blues at Carnegie Hall - November 10 1956
Nov 06, 2017
Billie's "No More" and "You Better Go Now", both from 1956's The Lady Sings are featured in season two of Netflix's Stranger Things!
Listen to Billie in 1956: http://smarturl.it/BillieIn1956
Sep 28, 2017
The Legacy of Billie Holiday’s "God Bless the Child," 75 years later
Sep 17, 2017
Billie gets her own stamp on September 17, 1994 as part of the US Postal Service Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers series!
Sep 13, 2017
Aug 21, 2017
"I never planned in my imagination
A situation so heavenly
A fairy land where no one else could enter
And in the center just you and me"
"Stars Fell On Alabama" from 1957's Songs For Distingue Lovers
Aug 11, 2017
"We may never never meet again, on that bumpy road to love
Still I'll always, always keep the memory of..."
Another wonderful gem from Billie's 1957 album Body and Soul.
Jul 25, 2017
"My heart is sad and lonely
For you I sigh, for you dear only
Why haven't you seen it
I'm all for you body and soul..." #lyrics
"...she remains one of the best jazz singers, not only for her unique sound and attack, but for her straightforward, honest, musical communication." - The Saturday Review on Billie Holiday's Body And Soul, released 60 years ago in 1957.
Jul 17, 2017
We miss you Lady Day, now more than ever.
July 17, 1959 - Billie Holiday died at 3:10 this morning in Metropolitan Hospital as simply and regally as she had lived.
She was young-only 44; yet, as she was quick to point out, neither of her parents lived that long.
She was beautiful; no one who saw her exquisite brown head against the hospital white pillow would dare talk of her loveliness in bygone days.
She was poor; she had 70 cents in the bank,$750 in $50 bills taped to her leg and, with a $50,000 movie contract for her life story waiting for her signature, she was holding out for double or nothing.
She was brave; at the slightest rattle of the oxygen tent, she lunged forward, dukes up, and barked out sharp orders, commanding those about her to slow down to her tempo: “Don’t be in such a hurry.”
She was regal; intrigue marital, musical and political swirled about her bedside; cops and doctors took their turn as her wardens, but she was undisturbed by it all.
She was triumphant; for 15 years the government had paraded her through a whirligig of couts, jail, bail as a horrible example of something called a drug addict; in the end she turned the tables on all of them.
She was proud; she’d attained worldwide acclaim as the greatest jazz singer of all time and that was that.
And she was alone. When her fighting heart gave out at 3:10 this morning, only her special nurse and this reporter were at her bedside.
Billie fought like a tiger to leave Metropolitan Hospital on her feet. Her 46-day stand in room 6A12 was the longest engagement she had played anywhere – except for The Strand Theater on Broadway in 1948 with Count Basie. She had gained almost 30 pounds by last Sunday when complications set in. Her longtime manager Joe Glaser, made arrangements for a transfer to a private hospital; Billie waited for the doctor’s OK which never came.
She had a hat-full of plans for the future; she had started with me on another book; we finished one chapter, and sold it Monday to a magazine. She took the advance cash in fifties and taped them to her leg; on Tuesday evening she fastened a gardenia in her hair and signed a contract to appear in a movie to be shot in New York this fall...
- July 17, 1959 New York Post by William Dufty co-author of Lady Sings The Blues.
Jun 27, 2017
The incomparable Audra McDonald returns as Billie Holiday! The London engagement of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is now open at the Wyndham’s Theatre. The play with music will run through September 9.
McDonald won her record-breaking sixth Tony Award for her performance as Billie Holiday in the Lanie Robertson play, which offers a glimpse of one of the final performances from the legendary jazz and blues singer before her death in 1959. The Lonny Price-directed production premiered at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre in April 2014.
Jun 06, 2017
Oh you can go to the East, go to the West
But someday you'll come
Weary at heart
Back where you started from
You'll find your happiness lies
Right under your eyes
Back in your own backyard
#TheLeftovers #NowPlaying https://open.spotify.com/track/3IyU1ZVNbJKnZzZuFrqdtv
May 13, 2017
It’s showtime for Lady Day! The famed Apollo Theater will host a one-night-only concert spectacular honoring jazz legend Billie Holiday on May 16. Tickets are on sale at www.apollotheater.com.