Billie Holiday centenary birthday today April 7th

Today Jazz FM salutes Billie Holiday, born this day in 1915. Known affectionately as ‘Lady Day’ she has remained one of the most evocative and influential jazz vocalists of all time.

Today Jazz FM salutes Billie Holiday, born this day April 7th 1915. Known affectionately as ‘Lady Day’ after saxophonist Lester Young nicknamed her, Billie has remained one of the most evocative and influential jazz vocalists of all time. Her influence has reached deep into modern pop music and jazz.

She possessed a unique style and resonance in her voice that connected with a special place listeners’ emotions, with a delivery and phrasing that was similar to jazz instrumentalists. Her voice emotion was born of a difficult experiences from an unsettled childhood to personal demons and violent racism in 20th Century America. Her interpretations of some jazz standards have become legendary, both melancholic and upbeat.

Throughout today, her centenary birthday, we’ll be playing some of her classic recordings and this evening James Tormé presents a special ‘Lady Day’ edition of Jazz Singers from 6pm.

Eleanora Fagan (Billie Holiday) 7th April 1915 - July 17th 1959.

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