Talk about hitting all the marks. It’s Women’s History Month, Tuneful Tuesdays, and the sun in Aries. What could be better?
Billie Holliday. If you don’t know, then you need to run an Internet search. No Lady G*ga here, believe that.
I’m not going to go into her life and tribulations (of which there were many). You can pick up a biography or her autobiography “Lady Sings the Blues” for that. I am merely the messenger here to point out what an extraordinary voice and capacity to convey emotion this woman had.
Her love songs were poignant, the edge of the blues discernible even in the “happiest” of love songs, which gave the song itself an extra heft.
It Had to Be You
“you know that I love you/and that love endures/all my thoughts are of you/for I’m so completely yours”
In addition, she was political when being political could cost you your very life.
Her rendition of the poem “Strange Fruit” was both dramatic and effective:
Strange Fruit was a song based on a poem about lynching written by a Jewish schoolteacher. (From Wikipedia)
For her performance of “Strange Fruit” at the Café Society, she had waiters silence the crowd when the song began. During the song’s long introduction, the lights dimmed and all movement had to cease. As Holiday began singing, only a small spotlight of light illuminated her face. On the final note, all lights in the club went out and when they came back on, Holiday was gone. (From Wikipedia)
Look her on up on YouTube. You won’t be sorry.