Published in celebration of Holiday's centenary, the first biography to focus on the singer's extraordinary musical talent When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia's studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in ?twentieth-century popular music. Her voice weathered countless shifts in public taste, and new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life-her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships-or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. But now, Billie Holiday stays close to the music, to her performance style, and to the self she created and put into print, on record and on stage. Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy.
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"This investigative history studies Billie Holiday's life and music and the various other biographies written since her death in 1959. Karen Chilton's mellifluous voice is perfect for the study of a jazz singer. The author examines Holiday's autobiography, excerpted materials, and oral histories to understand her and the world she lived in. This audiobook is long winded, and Chilton's reading ebbs and flows. Listeners learn more about Holiday's music than the better-known tragedies of her life. Chilton works hard to keep listeners engaged in this scholarly exploration of the woman herself, her method of singing, her place in music history, and the context of the times. Musical interludes between the chapters would enhance this audiobook. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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