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Download Billie Holiday: A Biography by Meg Greene PDF

By Meg Greene

Billie vacation (1915-1959), the mythical jazz singer whose vocal stylings have been deeply affecting, keeps to enthrall. This biography conveys her hard-luck adolescence, profession triumphs, after which decline and early demise. At age 14, regardless of turning out to be up with an absentee musician father, little education, a rape at 10, and penitentiary time for prostitution, this awesome woman moved to manhattan urban to discover paintings as a dancer or singer. She quickly turned the toast of Harlem and went directly to journey and checklist with the largest names in jazz.

Holiday's profession took off within the Nineteen Thirties, in the course of the melancholy, and the biography conjures up the period and surroundings of the jazz membership scene. The kingdom of race family within the nation is mentioned as vacation excursions with white bandleaders resembling Artie Shaw or even as she sings approximately lynching within the debatable unusual Fruit. The narrative extra chronicles Holiday's relationships, descent into drug habit, the next diminishment of her expertise, and tragic early loss of life. Readers at the present time will then are looking to hunt down Holiday's recordings to extra totally have fun with her interpretations of the songs of that vintage era.

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Extra info for Billie Holiday: A Biography

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Instead, she received her tips by hand or did not take them at all. She also refused requests to sing dirty songs or to accept dates. By this time, Billie was determined to make money standing on her feet, not lying on her back. She would not take money for prostituting herself. Club owners, customers, and many of the other singers thought that Billie was arrogant, allegedly prompting some of the girls mockingly to call her “Lady Day,” one explanation of how Billie acquired her famous moniker. Billie did not much care what others thought of her.

Because of his genuine concern for and loyalty to the people he handled, Glaser counted some of the biggest African American talents among his clients, including Count Basie and Louis Armstrong. ” Soon after opening, Holiday became ill and was replaced by the great blues singer Bessie Smith. It also became clear that Holiday was ill suited for the over-the-top musical delivery that people expected at these extravaganzas. Hoping to win her job back, Holiday was disappointed again when the management decided to keep Bessie Smith on permanently.

With money tight, Billie more than once went to the Roseland to ask her father for help: I used to go right down there and haunt him. Pop was in his early thirties then, but he didn’t want anyone to guess it—especially 20 BILLIE HOLIDAY the young chicks who used to hang around the entrance waiting for the musicians…. 10 Pleading with his daughter not to call him “Daddy,” Clarence gave Billie money perhaps just to be rid of her. By this time, though, those who knew them both understood that Clarence was Billie’s father.

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