Billie Holiday

Topics: Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit, Abel Meeropol Pages: 3 (1030 words) Published: October 11, 2011
The lady that sings the blues was known as Billie Holiday or Lady Day to many. Billie Holiday was the greatest female jazz singer in American history. Billie started out as a young girl who, like her idols of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong turned whatever material she was given into a piece of art of her own. Billie Holiday stated “I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know.” Billie Holiday sang as if she knew her music had so much emotional power that she had to distance herself from it Although Billie Holiday had no formal training and never learned how to read music she quickly found herself in one of the most active jazz scenes in the country. By the time she turned 18 years of age, Billie Holiday had made her singing debut in the Harlem nightclubs. She borrowed her name Billie Holiday from screen star Billie Dove. It wasn’t long before she was discovered by producer John Hammond while working in Harlem. John Hammond was blown away by what he heard. Soon after, he reported that she was the greatest singer he had ever heard. Her bluesy vocal style brought a slow and rough quality to the jazz standards that were often upbeat and light. Billie Holiday seemed to of added a new dimension to jazz singing. Hammond was responsible for getting Billie Holiday to record with an up and coming musician band leader Benny Goodman. They recorded many tracks together like Billie’s first “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and “Riffin’ the Scotch.” In 1935, Holiday’s singing career got a big push when she landed a recording contract after singing some popular hits like “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Miss Brown to You.” She recorded numerous master tracks that ultimately became the foundation of early American jazz. Later in 1937, Holiday joined Count Basie followed by Artie Shaw in 1938. Billie Holiday became one of the first black women to accompany a white orchestra; this was a very impressive accomplishment of...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Holiday Essay
  • Billie Holiday: A Biography Essay
  • Billie Holiday Biography Essay
  • Essay on Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit"
  • Billie Holiday Essay
  • Billie Holiday Essay
  • Billie Holiday's Interesting Life Essay
  • English Holiday Homework Sample Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free