Billie Holiday

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Noted jazz historian Dan Morgenstern, director of Rutgers University's Institute of Jazz Studies, on the life, music, and legacy of Billie Holiday, who died 50 years ago tomorrow at the age of 44.


Dan Morgenstern

Comments [9]

Ron Gil from Charlotte, NC

I always remark today how you can walk into an establishment that is playing background music, and how when Billie Holiday comes on she just cuts through all the noise. A remarkable singer that I will never tire of listening to in all my life.

Jul. 18 2009 10:42 AM
Daryl Sherman from New Yrk

Great discussion with Dan Morgenstern! Interesting inside info about Teddy Wilson's actual taste in singers and interesting comparison with Louis Armstrong. Thanks for doing this.

Jul. 17 2009 07:37 AM
Paul H Rivet from Orangeburg, NY

In 1943, Billie Holiday sang at an allumimum ball at Town Hall on 34 St. As she left from the stage door on 35 St. She invited me to ride with her to a club uptown.
I sat at her table and left with a memory for a lifetime.

Jul. 16 2009 07:32 PM
Paul H Rivet from Orangeburg, NY

In the summer off 1943, Billie Holiday sang at the alumimum ball at Town Hall on 34ST.
I was 15, as she exited the stage door on 35 St
I reached her for an autograph. She invited me into the taxi. I sat at her table in Harlem, drank Ginger Ale.
I have never fogotten.

Jul. 16 2009 07:29 PM
mozo from nyc

I will be listening to her all day today and tomorrow.

As for her voice getting worse as she got older -- true so some extent but she also had more experience singing and made do with what she had. If you don't believe me, listen to her version of "Autumn In New York".

Here's to Lady Day!

Jul. 16 2009 12:57 PM
Stephanie Longo from Colorado

Please discuss Strange Fruit. No one could sing that song like Billy Holiday!

Jul. 16 2009 12:55 PM
paul from nyc

What about Eddie Cantor?
am i the only one who hears that?
she has a little schmaltz sometimes

Jul. 16 2009 12:49 PM
Marianne McHann from Lincoln, NE

Have been collecting her stories about 30 years. I am mesmerized by her shear presence.

A woman who was aware of who she was and took on challenges. Some that did not turn out so well. Still, fearless.

Her influence on the generations following (especially today) about voice— to use it as an instrument; structure— the lyrics don't have to be locked into the melody, and yes, please— let that personality and emotion flow through the story.

Music as rich tapestry,

Thank you Billie Holiday!

Jul. 16 2009 12:47 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Billy Holiday had a bigger influence on Tony Bennett. Huge.

Jul. 16 2009 12:45 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.