No singer has been more mythologized and more misunderstood than jazz legend Billie Holiday, who helped to create much of the mystique herself with her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues - and this authentic biography sets the record straight. Donald Clarke was given unrivaled access to a treasure trove of interviews from the 1970s with those who knew Lady Day in all stages of her short, tragic life - from her childhood in the streets and good-time houses of Baltimore, through the early days of success in New York and the years of fame, to her tragic decline and death at the age of 44. This biography separates fact from fiction to reveal the true Billie Holiday.
©1994 by Donald Clarke; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"A thoroughly riveting account of Holiday and her milieu." (New York Newsday)
"May be the most thoroughly valuable of the many books on Holiday." (The New York Times Book Review)
I enjoyed this book very much. Lady was a fascinating person. The only problem with the book (to me) was that there were too many details about recording sessions. I don't really care who played drums on which song at which session. However, the rest of the book was great. The narrator was perfect for the material. The language in the book can be pretty salty so be advised if listening out loud. All in all a good bio.
I have found this book to jump all over the place. I have lost track of who is saying what about whom. I am only 4 hours into it, am lost and at the moment cannot listen further.
The narration: why have a white woman trying to speak in a black accent??
See my comments above.
"Incredibly in depth biography."
An extremely detailed and often harrowing look at Billie's life. Too lengthy and detailed in places. The reader does a good job but drones a bit in places. A fascinating insight into some of the great musicians she played with and their vices. Just needed pruning down a bit.
"A must read"
A lively and vivid account of the life and art of lady day.
The level of detail both about her life and recordings was fascinating.
The ending was particularly poignant .
It made me laugh often.
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