Billie holiday - lady day - the many faces of billie holiday - Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933.


In  Lady Sings the Blues ,  the acclaimed 1956 autobiography from the singer, (which was later made into a movie starring Diana Ross), Holiday talks about running various errands at no charge for the madam of a whorehouse, just so she could buy time listening to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith on an old victrola record player. “If I’d heard Pops and Bessie wailing through the window of some minister’s front parlor, I’d have been running free errands for him ,” she proudly proclaimed. She also talks about her brutal rape at ten years old by a man in his forties, and being abused by the police and churned through a catholic probation system as a result of simply being a victim. As a teenager, she worked several odd jobs, worked as a call girl, and found herself in the court system several times, once ending in a prison stint. A desperate, late-night winter audition, however, proved to be the defining moment that would start the young Holiday on a path to stardom.

Forget for a moment that The Best of Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday was tied into the release of the superb box set, Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia (1933-1944) , thereby offering a bit of advertisement to the full-fledged set. That doesn't matter -- even if there was never a box set, this would have been a welcome addition to Billie Holiday 's catalog, since it's the first concise, yet comprehensive, introduction to her groundbreaking, perhaps greatest, recordings. Over the course of two discs, nearly all of her finest moments for Columbia are chronicled (along with a handful of rarities to entice the curious to the big box), providing a welcome summary for serious listeners on a budget. Prior to this release, the Columbia recordings were available either individually, as part of the Quintessential series, or on haphazard single-disc collections. This provides a logical, thorough overview of her acknowledged peak at Columbia (meaning that there's nothing from Lady in Satin ) and that may be enough for serious listeners who don't have the money or inclination to delve into the full box.

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Billie Holiday - Lady Day - The Many Faces Of Billie HolidayBillie Holiday - Lady Day - The Many Faces Of Billie HolidayBillie Holiday - Lady Day - The Many Faces Of Billie HolidayBillie Holiday - Lady Day - The Many Faces Of Billie Holiday

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