When Harry Smith, creator of The Anthology of American Folk Music and dean of American bohemians, received a Grammy just a few months before his death in 1991, he said, “I’m glad to say that my dreams came true–that I saw America changed through music.” In the book Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, David Margolick proposes that racism–a bedrock element of Americanism–was challenged and ultimately changed by a single song, a song sung by Holiday titled “Strange Fruit.”
Although Johnny Green is best remembered for composing significant standards, he actually spent the bulk of his career working in the movie industry.
Novelist Nelson Algren and singer Billie Holiday are two iconic figures of mid-20th-century American culture, though Holiday is surely better-known than Algren.
One of my favorite Billie Holiday records is Solitude. Released in 1952, in my mind it's one of the singer's best efforts for Verve, curiously overlooked.
An iconic singer, a songwriter (or two) named Irene, lost love and inspiration, and a history-mystery of identity.
We'll hear collaborations with former Basie big-band singers Billie Holiday and Helen Humes, as well as a live version of some bop anthems.
Two years before and after Holiday's death in 1959 six albums dedicated to the iconic singer were released...
We'll hear elegies for Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Sonny Clark, and more.
A salute to warmer weather, including music from Thelonious Monk & Milt Jackson, Anita O'Day, Nat King Cole, June Christy, Billie Holiday, and more.
The program includes a 1966 recording of Frank O'Hara reading his poetic tribute, "The Day Lady Died."