Biography

Download Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed PDF

By John Szwed

Kirkus top Books of 2015 choice for Biography •

Published in party of Holiday’s centenary, the 1st biography to target the singer’s impressive musical talent

When Billie vacation stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the start of what's arguably the main notable and influential profession in twentieth-century well known song. Her voice weathered numerous shifts in public flavor, and new reincarnations of her proceed to reach, so much lately within the type of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Most of the writing on vacation has fascinated by the tragic info of her life—her prostitution on the age of fourteen, her heroin dependancy and alcoholism, her sequence of abusive relationships—or attempted to right the various fabrications of her autobiography. yet now, Billie vacation remains as regards to the tune, to her functionality type, and to the self she created and placed into print, on checklist and on stage.

Drawing on an enormous volume of recent fabric that has surfaced within the final decade, significantly acclaimed jazz author John Szwed considers how her lifestyles inflected her artwork, her affects, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a couple of her signature songs, and her legacy.

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Additional resources for Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

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Sheet music was scarce, disposed to the idea. During her daily visits to and the cost of records was prohibitive. Mimi’s house, John would bring up the subject, The only other prospect was going to a reminding her how much she herself enjoyed record store, where it was possible to playing the banjo. But Mimi’s objections posed a listen to one or two selections and try to write down the lyrics. So John and two real dilemma. ” at lunchtime and head to the North End This was small comfort to John, who was deMusic Shop (or NEMS, as it was known).

Even before he met Paul McCartney, George Harrison had demonstrated that he was not to be outperformed when it came to the guitar. One day when he was just thirteen years old, George and his best friend, Arthur Kelly, were practicing a version of a skiffle hit they’d learned from listening to a record. ” But when they got to the middle part, George lit into the difficult lead, galloping through the break, leaving Arthur dazzled. “We’d only heard the song two or three times, but George had somehow memorized it.

It didn’t matter. To Stuart, playing the bass was simply another form of art. “And anyway,” he explained to a friend, “the band is going to be the greatest. ” After Stuart joined the band, a more proper name seemed in order. One night in February 1960, while sitting around the flat, John and Stuart brainstormed to come up with something better than Johnny and the Moondogs. Both boys loved Buddy Holly and the Crickets, whose songs were an inspiration. ” It was John’s idea to change the spelling “to make it look like beat music, just as a joke,” although when they printed it on a card to show the other boys, it became Beatals.

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