New PDF release: Billie Holiday: Wishing On The Moon

By Donald Clarke

ISBN-10: 0306811367

ISBN-13: 9780306811364

Certainly no singer has been extra mythologized and extra misunderstood than Billie vacation, who helped to create a lot of the mystique herself along with her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. "Now, ultimately, we have now a definitive biography," acknowledged Booklist of Donald Clarke's Billie Holiday, "by a deeply compassionate, respectful, and open-minded biographer [whose] portrait embraces each part of Holiday's paradoxical nature, from her fierceness to her vulnerability, her childlikeness to her innate beauty and extraordinary strength." Clarke was once given unmatched entry to a treasure trove of interviews from the 1970s—interviews with those that knew girl Day from her formative years within the streets and good-time homes of Baltimore throughout the early days of good fortune in long island and into the years of status, correct as much as her tragic decline and loss of life on the age of forty-four. Clarke makes use of those interviews to split truth from fiction and, within the phrases of the Seattle Times, "finally units us directly. . .evoking her international in all its discomfort, triumph, strength and irony." Newsday referred to as this "a completely riveting account of vacation and her milieu." The New York Times raved that it "may be the main completely useful of the various books on Holiday," and Helen Oakley Dance in JazzTimes stated, "We may still most likely need to wait many years for an additional lifetime of Billie vacation to supersede Donald Clarke's achievement."

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She already knew all about hypocrites, and she knew what kind of world she lived in. ' If the world seemed to be a howling wilderness, Eleanora was going to tame it the best she could. Pony went on: A lot of people don't like you calling 'em motherfuckers; they beat you for it. A lot of men, a lot of women. Not everybody cuss their men. Hilda don't; she knowed she was going to get her ass beat. But Eleanora say it anyways: 'Suck my ass, suck my ass . ' She be half a block aways, and some would let it slide, and some would say, 'I am going to suck your ass, bitch,' and beat her ass too .

But Eleanora didn't like it either. ] She come to the house to spend a night and get a meal and listen, but she never did give a damn. Years later, in her autobiography, Eleanora/Billie described scrubbing the marble steps of Baltimore's famous row houses, and claimed to have made more money than the other girls because she brought her own bucket and rags. This much may have been true: Pony says that they both scrubbed steps. But Eleanora soon found that there were easier ways to make better money.

I n fact, the 1910 census was the last one to allow the mulatto designation; the bureaucracy henceforth demanded more rigid racial bifurcation, and while swarthy Europeans and even some Asians and Hispanics came to be regarded as white, a few drops of Afr~canblood remained powerful stuff. Light skin is commonly assumed to have meant more social status, but it could be confusing: Lena Horne, born in Brooklyn, moved to Georgia as a child, and found that her light skin (as well as her speech) were made fun of.

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Billie Holiday: Wishing On The Moon by Donald Clarke


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