Biography

Download Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed PDF

By John Szwed

Kirkus top Books of 2015 choice for Biography •

Published in get together of Holiday’s centenary, the 1st biography to target the singer’s amazing musical talent

When Billie vacation stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the start of what's arguably the main impressive and influential profession in twentieth-century renowned tune. Her voice weathered numerous shifts in public style, and new reincarnations of her proceed to reach, so much lately within the kind of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Most of the writing on vacation has interested in the tragic info of her life—her prostitution on the age of fourteen, her heroin dependancy and alcoholism, her sequence of abusive relationships—or attempted to right the various fabrications of her autobiography. yet now, Billie vacation remains with regards to the song, to her functionality kind, and to the self she created and placed into print, on checklist and on stage.

Drawing on an unlimited quantity of latest fabric that has surfaced within the final decade, seriously acclaimed jazz author John Szwed considers how her existence inflected her paintings, her impacts, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a few her signature songs, and her legacy.

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Extra info for Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

Sample text

S. Houston at San Francisco, July 14, 1938 A prince, wrote Machiavelli, must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves. Those that wish to be only lions do not understand this. Therefore, a prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by so doing it would be against his interest, and when the reasons which made him bind himself no longer exist.

As a Federalist member of the state convention he voted under Alexander Hamilton’s brilliant leadership to ratify the new federal Constitution in opposition to the great landowners along the Hudson. Then the line veered steadily away from politics. Isaac’s son James (1760-1847) went to Princeton, became a sugar refiner and banker, was a Federalist member of the New York State Assembly for one term, bred horses, and bought land along the Hudson near Poughkeepsie. His son Isaac (1790-1863) had no interest in politics: he was a Princeton man, a student of medicine and botany, a breeder of cattle and horses, and became a Dutchess County squire.

It was a world of benevolent authority, with class lines separating the close little family of three at the top from the nurses and governesses, and these in turn from the maids and cooks indoors, and these in turn from the stableboys and farm hands outside. It was a world with the sound and smack of the sea, carried in Sara’s rendering of the sea chanteys she had learned on the long voyage to China. It was a world of broad horizons, where Paris and London and Nauheim were familiar places one visited almost every year.

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