Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

by John Szwed


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143107965
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 668,292
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Szwed is a professor of music and director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. As a jazz musician, he played professionally for more than a decade. He is the author of sixteen books, including So What: The Life of Miles Davis, Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, and Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

The Myth 9

Chapter 1 The Book I: Lady Sings the Blues 11

Chapter 2 The Book II: The Rest of the Story 27

Chapter 3 The Image: Film, Television, and Photography 55

The Musician 75

Chapter 4 The Prehistory of a Singer 77

Chapter 5 The Singer I 97

Chapter 6 The Singer II 115

Chapter 7 The Songs I 131

Chapter 8 The Songs II 171

Acknowledgments 199

Notes 203

Index 221

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Alan Lomax:  The Man Who Recorded the World 
[Starred review] "Factually tireless and fluently analytical, Szwed gamely corrals a great river of events, efforts, and discoveries into a straight-ahead portrait of an intrepid, culture-defining artist and humanist."  
"Szwed is a sensitive interpreter of music. . . he is meticulous about the work, and makes a strong case for Lomax as a central figure in the history of American music."  
The New Yorker 
"A keenly appreciative, enormously detailed new Lomax biography." 
The New York Times 
"John Szwed has written a graceful and informative cradle-to-grave study that's a perfect marriage of author and subject." 
Douglas Brinkley, Texas Monthly 
So What: The Life of Miles Davis 

"...Szwed offers crisply detailed backstories to such masterpieces as Sketches of Spain, Round About Midnight and Miles Ahead. His prose has a musical pulse, and he highlights the most significant element of Davis's soul: "he told every woman he became involved with that music always came first, before family, children, lovers, friends." Davis's music has been called a "divine disease," and this in-depth study clarifies the nature of that compulsive, satisfying malady in a way that will enlighten listeners and musicians." 
—Publishers Weekly 

Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra 

"... Szwed has produced a rare jazz biography—one that takes full account of the history that shaped the music and its central personalities. An anthropologist, historian and musicologist who teaches at Yale, Szwed brings an impressive array of skills to this job. He needs them all to track down a subject whose every word seems intended to protect him from scrutiny." 
—Brent Staples, The New York Times Book Review 

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