Billie's Blues: The Billie Holiday Story, 1933-1959

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Da Capo Press, 1975 - Music - 264 pages
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Anyone who has ever heard a Billie Holiday record knows the sound of her voice--sad, sexy, always relaxed but securely aware of the beat. Conveying a poignancy that cut to the heart of a song, she redeemed even trivial material with her impeccable sense of dramatic phrasing and time. The well-known tale of her lifelong battle with drugs has obscured the artistry that has made her one of the most revered singers of the twentieth century. Everyone from Frank Sinatra (who in the 1950s called her ”unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years”) to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan has recognized the singularity of her interpretations. The racism that Billie found at every turn, whether in Artie Shaw’s band or in the heart of the south, immortalized in the chilling song ”Strange Fruit,” cannot be overlooked in her biography. Jazz historian John Chilton has told the story of her short, tragic, influential career with restraint, correcting many of the more sensational tales she wrote about herself inLady Sings the Blues. Buck Clayton, who knew Billie in the Basie band during the nineteen-thirties, has written a warm and personal foreword to this fascinating biography of a great American artist.
 

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Contents

Prologue
6
Chapter Two
19
Chapter Three
41
Chapter Four
65
Chapter Five
85
Chapter Six
105
Chapter Seven
130
Chapter Eight
165
Chapter Nine
181
Bile Holiday on Record
201
Chapter Two
212
Chapter Three
221
Chapter Four
228
Bibliography of Book References
239
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About the author (1975)

A professional trumpeter and jazz writer, John Chilton is the author of Billie's Blues, Who's Who of Jazz, and with Max Jones, Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story.

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