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Archive for the tag “Billie Holiday”

Lady Day and her dog

I’ve been listening to a lot of blues lately and nobody sang the blues with more heart than Lady Day, the legendary Billie Holiday. I just found this photo of Billie and her boxer Mister.

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One doesn’t often find pictures of Billie smiling, but I guess the love of a good dog can make anyone happy.

Billie Holiday’s grave

We mentioned Billie Holiday‘s drug abuse and death in the previous post. The singer died broke – 70 cents in the bank, to be exact. Looks like an ex-husband paid in advance for this grave. I’m not sure of the details.

Any Billie Holiday scholars out there?

50 Greatest arts videos on YouTube

The Guardian of Great Britain published what it thinks is The 50 Greatest Arts Videos on YouTube, everything from Joy Division‘s television debut to readings by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac.

Here are my faves from the list. (Wow, looks like I have a jones for people who died young and tragically. Heroin junkies a plus!):
Jazz’s greatest saxophonist John Coltrane performing My Favorite Things in 1961 in Germany:

An emotional Billie Holiday performing Strange Fruit five months before her death at age 44 from cirrhosis of the liver. (Holiday, whose body was ravaged from years of drug and alcohol abuse, was arrested for possession of drugs on her deathbed.)
I have never before seen live footage of Holiday singing.:

Doomed punk icons Sid and Nancy on New York public access television, 1978. Sid was the bassist of the Sex Pistols. That’s Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators on their left. Watch them laugh when a caller mentions Ted Nugent and the Bee-Gees. Months after this, Sid killed Nancy.

The brilliant Vladmir Nabokov discusses the racy Lolita, 1950s:

James Dean and Paul Newman joke around about being gay during a screen test for East of Eden:

Artist SAMO (aka Jean-Michel Basquiat) interviewed about graffiti on New York cable television, 1978, several years before Basquiat was recognized as a fine artist:

The great Maria Callas singing in Puccini‘s Tosca , 1964:

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