Tag Archive: billie holiday

28 Songs that Changed My Life: Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” (7 of 28)

When I first started exploring jazz in the late 1990s, vocal jazz wasn’t tops on my list. I preferred (and still prefer) the instrumental stuff from the late 1940s through the late 1960s. However, I still made it a point to listen to the major names of the genre when it came to vocal jazz, too, because if I was self-educating, I wanted to take it all in. Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and many others helped me zero in on the aspects of vocal jazz I liked. Then there was Billie Holiday. Her haunting voice was already familiar to me, in no small part because it’s been imitated so many times. It was … different. Otherworldly. There was little joy…
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