Lady Sings the Blues (Billie Holiday album)

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Lady Sings the Blues
Studio album by Billie Holiday
Released1956
RecordedJune 6, 7, 1956 New York City, Fine Sound Studios
September 3 1954, Los Angeles, Capitol Studios
GenreJazz
LabelClef Records
ProducerNorman Granz
Billie Holiday chronology
Velvet Mood
(1956)
Lady Sings the Blues
(1956)
Body and Soul
(1957)
 
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Lady Sings the Blues
Studio album by Billie Holiday
Released1956
RecordedJune 6, 7, 1956 New York City, Fine Sound Studios
September 3 1954, Los Angeles, Capitol Studios
GenreJazz
LabelClef Records
ProducerNorman Granz
Billie Holiday chronology
Velvet Mood
(1956)
Lady Sings the Blues
(1956)
Body and Soul
(1957)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars
Down Beat (1956 Review)5/5 stars

Lady Sings the Blues is an album by jazz vocalist Billie Holiday. It was Holiday's last album released on Clef Records; the following year, the label would be absorbed by Verve Records. Lady Sings the Blues was taken from sessions taped during 1954 and 1956. It was released simultaneously with her ghostwritten autobiography of the same name.

Content[edit]

Taken from sessions taped during 1954-1956, Lady Sings the Blues features Holiday backed by tenor saxophonists Budd Johnson and Paul Quinichette, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarist Billy Bauer. Though Holiday's voice had arguably deteriorated by the 1950s, the album is well-regarded - in a 1956 review, Down Beat awarded the album 5 out of 5 stars, and had this to say about the co-current book:

"Lady Sings The Blues is Billie Holiday's autobiography (...) she tries to get the reader on her side of the mirror, so don't expect a three-dimensional view of the subject. The book was written with William Dufty, assistant to the editor of the New York Post (...) Seldom in the book does she talk about her singing (...)"

On Saturday, November 10, 1956, Holiday appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in front of a sold out crowd. The show was planned to commemorate the edition of her autobiography, some paragraphs being read during the performance.

Track listing[edit]

Side 1
  1. "Lady Sings the Blues" (Billie Holiday, Herbie Nichols) - 3:46
  2. "Trav'lin' Light" (Trummy Young, Jimmy Mundy, Johnny Mercer) - 3:08
  3. "I Must Have That Man" (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) - 3:04
  4. "Some Other Spring" (Irene Higgenbotham, Arthur Herzog, Jr.) - 3:36
  5. "Strange Fruit" (Lewis Allan) - 3:05
  6. "No Good Man" (Irene Higgenbotham, Sammy Gallop, Dan Fisher) - 3:18
Side 2
  1. "God Bless the Child" (Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog, Jr.) - 4:00
  2. "Good Morning Heartache" (Irene Higgenbotham, Ervin Drake, Dan Fisher) - 3:28
  3. "Love Me or Leave Me" (Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn) - 2:38
  4. "Too Marvelous for Words" (Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting) - 2:16
  5. "Willow Weep for Me" (Ann Ronnell) - 3:08
  6. "I Thought About You" (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer) - 2:47

When issued on CD, 3 bonus tracks from the 3 September recording were added:

  1. "P.S. I Love You" (Gordon Jenkins, Johnny Mercer) - 3:36
  2. Softly (Eddie Beal, Joe Greene) - 2:55
  3. Stormy Blues (Billie Holiday) - 3:27

Personnel[edit]

June 6 & 7 1956, Fine Sound Studios, New York City (Tracks 1-8)
September 3, 1954, Capitol Studios

External links[edit]