Eleanora her preferred spelling Harris was the daughter of Clarence Holiday, a professional musician who for a time played guitar with the Fletcher Henderson band. In she moved with her mother from Baltimore , Maryland where she had spent her childhood , to New York City, and after three years of subsisting by various means, she found a job singing in a Harlem nightclub. She had had no formal musical training, but, with an instinctive sense of musical structure and with a wealth of experience gathered at the root level of jazz and blues , she developed a singing style that was deeply moving and individual.
Where people listen
A family friend called Betty Jones, wife of the esteemed jazz writer Max, was with her when they went into Marks and Spencer. Holiday picked out some pyjamas and went to the counter to pay. The strait-laced sales assistant was shocked to see a year-old black woman haul up her skirt and produce a roll of banknotes from the top of her stocking. Holiday was a true one-off: a wild, outspoken and forceful woman, who also happened to be one of the greatest singers that ever lived. She had been under arrest in her hospital bed for the previous five weeks. She was weak, underweight, bed-ridden and trying to fight off heart and liver failure problems at a time when police found a small tinfoil envelope containing heroin in a different part of the room. It was widely suspected that the drugs had been planted. She was interrogated by narcotics detectives.
Who Was Billie Holiday?
Billie Holiday is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of all time, Holiday had a thriving career as a jazz singer for many years before she lost her battle with substance abuse. Some sources say her birthplace was Baltimore, Maryland, and her birth certificate reportedly reads "Elinore Harris. Holiday spent much of her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Sadie, was only a teenager when she had her. Her father is widely believed to be Clarence Holiday, who eventually became a successful jazz musician, playing with the likes of Fletcher Henderson. Unfortunately for Holiday, her father was an infrequent visitor in her life growing up.
Eleanora Fagan April 7, — July 17, , professionally known as Billie Holiday , was an American jazz and swing music singer with a career spanning for 26 years. Nicknamed " Lady Day " by her friend and music partner Lester Young , Holiday had an innovative influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills. After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem , where she was heard by the producer John Hammond , who commended her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick in Throughout the s and s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia and Decca. By the late s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse.