BILLIE HOLIDAY, who died on 17 July 1959 at 44, was born on April 7, 1915, and became one of the most influential singers of all time. Jazz trumpeter Trumpeter Bill Coleman said: “Billie Holiday sounded different from any female singer that I had heard before.” It’s an almost impossible task to pick out her 10 best songs. To put it in context, it means leaving out great songs such as If You Were Mine, These Foolish Things, The Way You Look Tonight, Pennies from Heaven, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Why Was I Born?, Carelessly, T’ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do, I Cover the Waterfront, My Man, I’m Gonna Lock My Heart (And Throw Away the Key), Body and Soul, Gloomy Sunday, God Bless the Child, I Can’t Get Started and I’m a Fool to Want You etcetera etcetera. Here, Martin Chilton counts down his top 10. You can let us know your favourites in the comment section
YOUR MOTHER’S SON-IN-LAW was recorded in 1933 with Benny Goodman’s specialy assembled nine-piece studio-band, including trumpeter Charlie Teagarden. “I get a big bang out of that song,” Billie Holiday later recalled. “It sounds like I’m doing comedy, My voice sounded so high and funny.” The jazz singer, who was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia, was paid $35 for the session. At the time she was still singing under the name Billie Halliday. Her father Clarence was best known for his work with Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra. He was a ladies’ man who was known as Lib-Lab among the jazz fraternity. He died in 1937.
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