Good Read: With Billie by Julia Blackburn
Few jazz singers have become icons like Billie Holiday. In With Billie, we hear the voices of those people who knew Billie best: piano players and dancers, pimps and junkies, lovers and narcs, producers and critics, each recalling intimate stories of the Billie they knew. What emerges is a portrait of a complex, contradictory, enthralling woman, a woman who — contrary to myth — knew what she wanted and what really mattered to her. Julia Blackburn has pieced together an oral history of this jazz great, creating a unique and fascinating view of an astonishing woman.
Todd Hill says:
“The author serves as editor on previous research done by another through a series of interviews by those who knew the legendary Billie Holiday. The only weakness is that there are not more musicians (focusing on the music) who worked with her, although we do hear from many who did. If you are a Billie Holiday fan or just want to dispel the garbage that William Dufty invented in “Lady Sings the Blues” this is a great read. Gritty. Real.”
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