• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who was Billie Holiday?

Extracts from this document...


Rebecca Hopkins June 7, 2004 Period 4 Writing Workshop Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was born in Baltimore, on April 7, 1915. Her birth name was Eleanora Fagan Gough, but soon was known as Billie Holiday. Her father, Clarence Holiday, was a jazz guitarist and banjo player, who played in Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. Billie's parents were irresponsible teenagers when they had Billie which resulted in a very painful childhood. Billie Holiday once said to a friend, "Mom & Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three." Holiday was sent to Catholic reform school at the age of ten, after she admitted being raped. ...read more.


After recording a demo at Columbia Studios, Holiday joined a small group led by Goodman to make her debut on November 27, 1933 with 'Your Mother's Son-In-Law.' During the last half of 1935, Holiday finally entered the studio again and recorded a total of four sessions. With a pick-up band supervised by pianist Teddy Wilson, she recorded a series of songs. Holiday and various groups took old, unpopular songs like 'What a Little Moonlight Can Do,' 'Twenty-Four Hours a Day' and 'If You Were Mine' and made them great songs of the modern world. With Holiday's beautiful voice and the fashionable beat of her band, they skyrocketed to the top. ...read more.


Unfortunately, Holiday's troubles only continued after her release. Even though Holiday was overwhelmed with jazz, drugs, song publishing, and many other stresses, many of Holiday's recordings in the 1950's were just as passionate as her standard work. During 1954, Holiday toured Europe and her 1956 autobiography brought her even more fame. During her final year, she made two more appearances in Europe before collapsing in May of 1959 of heart and liver disease. While on her death bed, police found her in possession of heroin and as a result, she was arrested. Holiday died on July 17, 1959 in a private room located in New York City. Her system was completely unable to fight both withdrawal from the heroin and heart disease at the same time. Billie Holiday was a very strong woman with a very hard life; maybe her life was just a little too hard. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work