Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cause I Can - Billie Hoiday

Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday

Just thought I would step up and put a little Billie in the blog today, simple because I can. I was rumbling through YouTube, and ran across a couple of clips of the woman herself singing, and felt it was impossible to resist. So I didn't. Billie Holiday was lost to the world over 51 years ago, but her talent, her music, rages on long after she died. She had lived a hard life, for while she was alive and in this country, she was never seen as an equal, living with the double whammy of being born a person of color and a woman. Whether this colored her singing, or her amazing attachment to the music was innate, there are few who could deliver a song with as much emotion and passion as Lady Day. For many, she set a standard as a singer that might not be topped during out lifetimes, or those of the generations to come.

Billie Holiday

I could wax on about her brilliance, but it would only interfere with what really needs to be done, and that is listening to her, and watching her. Take, for example, her cover of a song that was made much more famous of two other incredible ladies. The song, My Man, originally composed in French by Jacques Charles, Channing Pollack, Albert Willemetz, and Maurice Yvain ni 1916. The song became a standard for comedian/singer Fanny Brice in 1921. Later on, Barbra Streisand sang it in the 1967 film Funny Girl, based on the life of Fanny Brice. However, it was also sung by Holiday in 1938, who had a hit with it as well, and we are lucky to have it captured on film.

In 1958, Billie Holiday recorded The Blues Are A-Brewin' with Louis Armstrong.

(Do You Know What It Means To Miss) New Orleans was recorded in 1947, and was performed here also with Louis Armstrong.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.



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