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Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz and swing music singer. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner, Lester Young, Holiday had an innovative influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills.

After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by producer John Hammond, who liked her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson produced the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia and Decca. By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. She was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall. Because of personal struggles and an altered voice, her final recordings were met with mixed reaction but were mild commercial successes. Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958. Holiday died of cirrhosis on July 17, 1959, at age 44.

Holiday won four Grammy Awards, all of them posthumously, for Best Historical Album. She was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, though not in that genre; the website states that "Billie Holiday changed jazz forever". Several films about her life have been released, most recently The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021).

Birth and Death Data: Born April 7, 1915 (Philadelphia), Died July 17, 1959 (Metropolitan Hospital Center)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1933 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 198 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-024083 10-in. 7/24/1938 Any old time Artie Shaw Orchestra ; Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Victor BS-067505 10-in. 7/29/1941 God bless' the child Deep River Boys ; Bea Wain Female vocal solo and male vocal quartet, with jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W152568 10-in. 11/27/1933 Your mother's son-in-law Benny Goodman Orchestra ; Billie Holiday ; Buck Washington Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W152650 10-in. 12/18/1933 Riffin' the scotch Benny Goodman Orchestra ; Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia 23992 10-in. 1/20/1939 That's all I ask of you Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia 23993 10-in. 1/20/1939 Dream of life Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24245 10-in. 3/21/1939 You're too lovely to last Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24246 10-in. 3/21/1939 Under a blue jungle moon Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24247 10-in. 3/21/1939 Everything happens for the best Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter, vocalist  
Columbia W24248 10-in. 3/21/1939 Why did I always depend on you? Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24249 10-in. 3/21/1939 Long gone blues Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer, lyricist, vocalist  
Columbia W24877 10-in. 7/05/1939 Some other spring Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24878 10-in. 7/05/1939 Our love is different Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter, vocalist  
Columbia W24879 10-in. 7/05/1939 Them there eyes Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W24880 10-in. 7/05/1939 Swing, brother swing Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26341 10-in. 12/13/1939 Night and day Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26342 10-in. 12/13/1939 The man I love Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26343 10-in. 12/13/1939 You're just a no account Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26344 10-in. 12/13/1939 You're a lucky guy Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26572 10-in. 2/29/1940 Ghost of yesterday Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26573 10-in. 2/29/1940 Body and soul Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26574 10-in. 2/29/1940 What is this going to get us? Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26575 10-in. 2/29/1940 Falling in love again Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26900 10-in. 6/07/1940 I'm pulling through Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W26901 10-in. 6/07/1940 Tell me more and more (and then some) Billie Holiday Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer, lyricist, vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 198 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Holiday, Billie," accessed May 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102008.

Holiday, Billie. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102008.

"Holiday, Billie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102008

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