Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Billie Holiday - April 7, 1915 would have been her 100th birthday. Happy Birthday, Lady Day

The legendary songstress, Billie Holiday would have reached 100 years today if she had lived. Lady Day hails from my hometown, Philadelphia, PA, a place that consistently churns out folks who have great chops. She was one of the first Black singers to be backed by a White band (Artie Shaw). But segregation of the time made it impossible for her to continue with the group as the logistics of trying to tour were a nightmare (it was a given that she would have to board at a separate "Coloreds Only" hotel from the rest of the band, but more specifically, the fact that the act was mixed did not sit well with Whites in the South. so a complete tour couldn't do the nightclub circuit and would have to not play the southern states and hence, money would be lost too). After living a life of euphoric highs and abysmal lows, Billie passed on July, 17, 1959, succumbing to the effects of hard drinking and hard drugs. She was 44. God Bless you child for sharing your talent.

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