Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

Billie Holiday was a great American jazz singer who was known as Lady Day. She made her singing debut in little-known Harlem clubs and subsequently toured with Artie Shaw and Count Basie. It was Benny Goodman who forced her to go to her first recording session. From 1933 to 1944 she recorded over a hundred records but never received a penny in royalities. Although Holiday had no training, her unique phrasing, diction, and dramatic quality made her the leading jazz singer of her time. Holiday was also a composer, the author of such songs as "God Bless the Child" and "Don't Explain."

March 23, 1949
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Photographic Print
Carl Van Vechten
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