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Lady Sings the Blues
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Originally released by Doubleday in 1956, Harlem Moon Classics celebrates the publication with the fiftieth-anniversary edition of Billie Holiday s unforgettable and timeless memoir. Updated with photos and with an insightful introduction and a revised discography, both written by celebrated music writer David Ritz.Lady Sings the Blues is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday s rough-and-tumble Baltimore childhood (where she ran errands at a whorehouse in exchange for the chance to listen to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith albums), to her emergence on Harlem s club scene, to sold-out performances with the Count Basie Orchestra and with Artie Shaw and his band, this revelatory memoir is notable for its trenchant observations on the racism that darkened Billie s life and the heroin addiction that ended it too soon. We are with her during the mesmerizing debut of Strange Fruit; with her as she rubs shoulders with the biggest movie stars and musicians of the day (Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Benny Goodman, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and more); and with her through the scrapes with Jim Crow, spats with Sarah Vaughan, ignominious jailings, and tragic decline. All of this is told in Holiday s tart, streetwise style and hip patois that makes it read as if it were written yesterday."
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About the Author

Eleanora Fagan, who later took the name BILLIE HOLIDAY, was born April 7, 1915, and died when she was just forty-four, on July 17, 1959. Coauthor WILLIAM DUFTY (1916-2002) was a music enthusiast, freelance writer for the New York Post, and Gloria Swanson's last husband.

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