Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Celebrating A Centennial For Billie

Today I'm setting aside photography to mark an occasion. Today is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the great American jazz singer Billie Holiday. She lived a tumultuous and tragic life, dying much too young. Her voice had a limited range- but she would work wonders with that range. She could make you feel warm inside and break your heart- often within the same song.


To mark the occasion, here are two of her signature songs. The first is a protest song of outrage at lynchings in the American South; pay close attention to the lyrics. The second is a love song.



Happy Birthday, Billie. You were the best.

42 comments:

  1. Nicely written brief explanation of her greatness!


    ALOHA from Honolulu,
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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  2. Billie teve a vida marcada por tragédias mas estas não foram suficientes para calar o seu grande talento
    Uma bela homenagem ao centenário da grande cantora
    Um abraço

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  3. Can't wait to listen to the songs. Thank you for linking them. You must be on vacation. You've been painfully quiet lately!

    Janis
    GDP

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  4. She was a great singer for sure.

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  5. I knew the strange fruit by Nina Simone. Thanks for your link I listened this version as well. Happy birthday Billie Holiday
    Thank you William

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  6. thanks for sharing, I like her song "All of Me."

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  7. I didn't know today is her hundredth anniversary.
    To honour her I'm playing one of my favourite sonds now: "Summertime".

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  8. the second one is classic. i had not heard the first before and it gave me chills and stomach churns. bless her.

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  9. I don't Listen to Billie enough. I'm familiar with the Very Thought of You but don't remember the other song.

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  10. @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Kay: she was such a talent.

    @Gracita: there was so much tragedy in her life. Heartbreaking when you get to know about that.

    @Janis: the Easter weekend tends to wreck havoc with computer time. It'll take me a couple of days to catch up.

    @Luis: you're welcome.

    @Marianne: I love jazz, and she is quite simply my favourite jazz singer.

    @Feyza: I have heard Nina's take on the song, and like that one too.

    @Gill: that's a great one too.

    @Jan: another great one.

    @Tex: Strange Fruit is such a powerful song. It does give one chills.

    @Sharon: I thought it entirely appropriate to go in this direction today.

    @Red: I've been listening to Billie for years, and The Very Thought Of You was one of the earliest ones from her songbook that I heard.

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  11. She was something else. My favorite was "The Very Thought of You" and I often play that on the piano.

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  12. Wonderful tribute William.. Too many amazingly talented artists die at a young age, bet there's one hell of a party going on somewhere :)

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  13. What a great tribute for the wonderful singer.
    Happy birthday to Billie Holiday!

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  14. I think I'll have to get Billie on the turntable (CD player) tonight! Great post, William!

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    1. Cannot believe it ! She was and still is one of the greatest.
      Marietta

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  16. Nice tribute, William! She was amazing!

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  17. Maybe not the best, but surely one of the greatest!

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    1. Oh she is the best !

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  18. I really liked her and have several cassettes--maybe I should get CDs. Tragic story though
    MB

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  19. i love Billie. she is beautiful and her voice. awesome!! amazing!! ( :

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  20. After the day I've had, this was perfect thank you!

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  21. A wonderful tribute to a gifted woman....

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  22. Lovely tribute and great songs, William. Thank you!

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  23. Very thoughtful William, a tribute to a great artist..

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  24. @Lowell: I've heard so much of her music down through the years.

    @Grace: she was a tormented soul.

    @Tamago: she surely was the best.

    @Mari: yes, she was.

    @RedPat: I have several of her albums. I'll be listening to her again tonight.

    @Tomas: I guess some musicians make more of an impact in some parts of Europe than others, but she's very well known here.

    @Marietta: she was a legend.

    @EG: she certainly was.

    @VP: It might be a matter of taste- some might go for Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, or Nina Simone.

    @MB: a very tragic story.

    @Beth: she was amazing.

    @Ciel: you're welcome.

    @Linda: thanks!

    @Norma: she was.

    @Jennifer: thank you!

    @Linda: you're welcome.

    @Geoff: thanks!

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  25. A nice tribute to one of the iconic voices from the 20th C.

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  26. Yes, she had great talent. A real trailblazer.

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  27. She was an amazing singer, what a voice! Thank you for sharing those links.

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  28. She was a great singer. Great post for her, William

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