Black History--Women of Courage: Billie Holiday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/27/04

Black History--Women of Courage: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Billie Holiday

If someone said the name Eleanora Fagan, you probably wouldn't know who it is. But how about Billie Holiday? As a child everyone called Eleanora "Bill" because she was a tomboy. When she became a singer, she took the name Billie Holiday. She was fondly called Lady Day by her fans, because of her good manners.

Holiday won recognition as the most moving jazz singer of her day. Many admired the uniquely bittersweet quality of her voice. Although Holiday was often described as a blues singer, she was principally an interpreter of popular songs.

She made her first recordings with Benny Goodman in 1933 and sang with many great jazz musicians like Count Basie, Louie Armstrong, and Roy Eldridge. Even though she died some 40 years ago, Billie Holiday's music remains a favorite when it comes to jazz.

Billie Holiday, a woman of courage.

Reported by: Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com

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