Billie Holiday by Stuart Nicholson
(Music)

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Synopsis

This compelling biography of Billie Holiday (1915-1959) provides a fresh and revealing portrait of one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. In the first work to separate fact from myth, Stuart Nicholson illuminates the complex details of Holiday's life, her artistry, and her musical legacy. Drawing on extensive interviews with those who knew and worked with Holiday, and on an exhaustive examination of newspaper accounts, court records, and FBI and police files, Nicholson uncovers a wealth of new information about Holiday's life and career. Included are her rape as an eleven-year-old, her battles with drug addiction and alcoholism, her arrest and imprisonment for heroin possession, her sex life, and her struggles against racial prejudice. Throughout his examination of Holiday's stormy life Nicholson weaves a revealing analysis of her performances and recordings. He traces the many strands of Holiday's career against the background of the mid-twentieth-century entertainment business and the day-to-day working environment of jazz musicians. The volume concludes with an authoritative discography by noted jazz historian Phil Schaap.
 

About Stuart Nicholson

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Nicholson is one of Britain's leading jazz journalists and broadcasters. Wrote biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington.
 
Published January 1, 1995 by London, UK Victor Gollancz Co. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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His sober approach is some relief after the overheated prose of many Holiday bios (most notably, Donald Clarke's 1994 tome), but surprisingly, Nicholson drops the ball so often that those who do not already know Holiday's life story will be lost.

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Publishers Weekly

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This chronicle of the brilliant jazz singer's troubled life is a sensitive, perceptive biography, wrote PW. (July)

Apr 21 1997 | Read Full Review of Billie Holiday (Music)

Publishers Weekly

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Basing his sensitive, perceptive biography on interviews with those who knew the great jazz singer (1915-1959) and on extensive research in court records, police files and newspaper accounts, Nicholso

Jul 03 1995 | Read Full Review of Billie Holiday (Music)

Publishers Weekly

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This chronicle of the brilliant jazz singer's troubled life is a ""sensitive, perceptive biography,"" wrote PW.

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Publishers Weekly

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Basing his sensitive, perceptive biography on interviews with those who knew the great jazz singer (1915-1959) and on extensive research in court records, police files and newspaper accounts, Nicholson (Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz) chronicles Holiday's tragic life.

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