Billie Holiday at Jazz at the Philharmonic
75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South.
Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.
I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
Al Bowlly (January 7, 1898 — April 17, 1941) singing ’I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’ (1933)
Won’t you please be kind and just make up your mind
That you’ll be sweet and gentle, be gentle with me
Because I’m sentimental over you
I'll Be Good Because Of You
You're My Thrill
I Want To Be Happy
Tea For Two (1950)
Doris Day — I Want To Be Happy (1950)
When skies are gray and you say you are blue
I’ll send the sun smiling through
April is Jazz Appreciation Month!
"I can only hope that one day America will recognize that our indigenous music — jazz — is the heart and soul of all popular music, and that we cannot afford to let its legacy slip into obscurity." — Quincy Jones
Jazz is the art of spontaneity, a genuine testament to the human spirit. It is a music built off of syncopation, improvisation, inspiration, and bended blue notes. It is inherently American, but performed and enjoyed worldwide.
The National Museum of American History has designated April to be Jazz Appreciation Month and encourages educators and students to take an active role in keeping this music and its rich history alive.
I Won't Cry Anymore
Eileen Wilson — I Won’t Cry Anymore (1951)
Though you are the one love
That my arms are longing for,
This is goodbye—
I won’t cry anymore
I'll Be Seeing You
As Time Goes By: The Best of Jimmy Durante