By Meg Greene
Billie vacation (1915-1959), the mythical jazz singer whose vocal stylings have been deeply affecting, maintains to enthrall. This biography conveys her hard-luck adolescence, occupation triumphs, after which decline and early dying. At age 14, regardless of transforming into up with an absentee musician father, little education, a rape at 10, and penitentiary time for prostitution, this amazing lady moved to long island urban to discover paintings as a dancer or singer. She quickly turned the toast of Harlem and went directly to travel and list with the largest names in jazz.
Holiday's occupation took off within the Nineteen Thirties, in the course of the melancholy, and the biography inspires the period and surroundings of the jazz membership scene. The kingdom of race relatives within the state is mentioned as vacation excursions with white bandleaders reminiscent of Artie Shaw or even as she sings approximately lynching within the debatable unusual Fruit. The narrative additional chronicles Holiday's relationships, descent into drug dependancy, the following diminishment of her expertise, and tragic early dying. Readers at the present time will then are looking to search out Holiday's recordings to extra totally enjoy her interpretations of the songs of that vintage era.
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Additional resources for Billie Holiday: A Biography
Cooper knew talent when he saw and heard it. As soon as the singer finished, he rushed to the stage and asked if she would consider being the vocalist for his new band. Billie was thrilled. She knew Cooper’s reputation as one of the leading bandleaders in Harlem. She agreed without hesitation, and Cooper immediately negotiated with Billie’s boss for her release from her current contract. He told Billie to come for rehearsals the day of the band’s Apollo performance. After experiencing so many ups and downs in her brief career, Billie hoped that Cooper’s offer was the big break she needed.
At this point, Holiday cared little whether she received royalties; more important was having her name featured on the label. To help her with the upcoming studio sessions, John Hammond brought in a new producer, a young Harvard-educated man from Nebraska, Bernie Hanighen. Hanighen had already enjoyed some fame of his own as collaborator with lyricist Johnny Mercer on a number of songs, many of which are considered among the best in Mercer’s catalogue. In late June 1936, Billie was back in the studio with Hammond and Hanighen.
Carter, renowned for his elegant playing, composing, and arranging, admired Billie’s voice, style, and presence. ” Like so many others, Carter did not know quite what to make of the young woman who had already begun to shape her own sound. She fit no category. ”9 ENTERING THE WORLD As Billie’s contacts with musicians increased, she began to drink more and to take more drugs. She began to smoke marijuana, known as “weed,” “grass,” “tea,” or “reefer,” more regularly. At that time, marijuana was relatively cheap; one could purchase two “joints” for twenty-five cents (approximately two dollars in today’s currency).
Billie Holiday: A Biography by Meg Greene