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Billie Holiday – The ‘Commodore’ Days

$47.50 $35.00

Billie Holiday has often been popularly labelled a Blues Singer, but she was never that, within the generally accepted definition. The overwhelming majority of her records are of popular songs. Tin Pan Alley trifles, which she elevates by her immense talent into significant jazz performances.

It could be said that Bessie Smith brought the Blues to the popular song, while Billie Holiday took the popular song to the Blues. Her whole chequered life, sometimes intensely gay, often abysmally tragic, always defiant, imbued her with the true spirit of the Blues.

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SKU: DOX846 LP [16] Categories: , , , , Tags: , ,


In 1939 when Billie Holiday’s label refused to record the highly controversial “Strange Fruit”, she did not give up, but searched desperately for a label that was not afraid to take a risk. Thankfully Milt Gabler at Commodore Records, a fledgling independent jazz label, understood the importance of this song being recorded and released to the public and soon arranged for Holiday to record a session with him.
The ‘Strange Fruit session’ for Commodore, was one of those historic moments and part of Billie Holiday’s legend hinges on the tremendous courage it took for her go ahead and record this song, knowing that it might well mean the end of her career. Three other songs, found here, were also recorded at that session: “Yesterdays”, “Fine And Mellow” and “I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues”, while due to contractual issues, the remaining Commodore sides were not recorded until five years later in 1944.


1. Strange Fruit
2. Yesterdays
3. Fine and Mellow
4. I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues
5. How Am I To Know
6. My Old Flame
7. I’ll Get By
8. I Cover The Waterfront
1. I’ll Be Seeing You
2. I’m Yours
3. Embraceable You
4. As Time Goes By
5. He’s Funny That Way
6. Lover, Come Back To Me
7. Billie’s Blues
8. On The Sunny Of The Street



Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm