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 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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