dance, historical, icon, Information, Music, vintage, woman

It’s Time for a Holiday!

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan, and nicknamed Lady Day) was an American jazz, swing, blues and traditional pop music singer, active from the age of 15 until her passing at the tender age of 44.

Billie’s vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrase and tempo. Billie was well known for her improvisational skills and unique vocal delivery. Her improvisation was a natural talent as she had no musical education. Billie always wanted her voice to sound like an instrument. Some of her influences were Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. Billie had a depth in her tone that is very unique, as well as a nasal tone. She had a fast fluttery vibrato that gives the sound of her vocals energy and drive. She was always perfectly on time and in tune.

Billie began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where producer John Hammond, heard her performance. John was a talent scout and one of the most influential figures in the 20th century popular music industry. Billie signed a contract with Brunswick in 1935. This led to a collaboration with Teddy Wilson to produce the hit “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”

In 1936, Billie began to release songs under her own name. These songs were released under the band name “Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra”. The most popular being “Summertime” which sold well and was listed on the pop charts at number 12. Billie had 16 best-selling songs in 1937, making that year, her most popular. In that year, she had a number one hit with “Carelessly”

Have you ever had a chance to listen to any of Billie Holiday’s songs? I recently purchased some of her albums, and for the past few months I have not stopped listening to them. I guess you would say that I have become obsessed with Billie Holiday! Here is a list of some of her legendary songs:

  1. I’ll Be Seeing You
  2. Solitude
  3. All of Me – Take 3
  4. Strange Fruit
  5. Blue Moon
  6. Gloomy Sunday
  7. Crazy He Calls Me
  8. God Bless THe Child
  9. Easy Living
  10. West End Blues
  11. Don’t Explain
  12. I’m a Fool to Want You
  13. I Love My Man
  14. Love Me or Leave Me

Here is a list of some of her studio albums, to get your hands on:

  1. Billie Holiday Sings – 1952
  2. An Evening with Billie Holiday – 1952
  3. Billie Holiday – 1954
  4. Music for Torching – 1955
  5. Velvet Mood – 1956
  6. Lady Sings the Blues – 1956
  7. Body and Soul
  8. Songs for Distingue Lovers – 1957
  9. Stay with Me – 1958
  10. All or Nothing at All – 1958
  11. Lady in Satin – 1958

Her last recording was an album entitled “Lady in Satin” in 1958. This featured the backing of a 40 piece orchestra.

Holiday won four Grammy Awards, all of them, after her passing, for best historical album. She was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame; National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

If you get a chance, then have a listen to Billie Holiday. It is excellent music.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

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