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Eldergays tell me about Billie Holiday and her tragic life

I find her fascinating

by Anonymousreply 22May 18, 2024 11:46 AM

Watch the book.

by Anonymousreply 1May 13, 2024 10:32 AM

She was perfect for the Strange Fruit on the DL.

by Anonymousreply 2May 13, 2024 10:39 AM

Diane Ross got an Oscar nomination portraying her in the 1972 film, Lady Sings the Blues.

Watch that.

by Anonymousreply 3May 13, 2024 10:47 AM

She and Tallulah Bankhead were lovers.

by Anonymousreply 4May 13, 2024 11:00 AM

Was she gay or bi?

by Anonymousreply 5May 13, 2024 11:20 AM

The Diana Ross movie is notoriously inaccurate, to say the least. Holiday's POS husband was a consultant on the film, which explains why he was portrayed as her savior by Billy Dee Williams.

In reality, he was an abusive pimp who was separated from Holiday and living on the other side of the country when she died, but didn't miss the opportunity to show up and play the grieving widower and take control of her estate.

by Anonymousreply 6May 13, 2024 12:45 PM

Yes, she was bi. Yes, she had an affair with Bankhead. And Orson Welles.

by Anonymousreply 7May 13, 2024 12:46 PM

Watch Lady Day with Audra McDonald on HBO. Fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 8May 13, 2024 12:52 PM

She couldn't carry a tune if her like depended on it.

by Anonymousreply 9May 13, 2024 12:53 PM

The story about her having a "tragic life" is mostly BS. She had a terrible self-destructive streak. The end of her life was a bit sad and she had a monstrously awful childhood, but she lived her life pretty much the way she wanted to and was not known to kow-tow to most people. She was very tough.

by Anonymousreply 10May 13, 2024 12:54 PM

OP, here are the books to read if you want to know about her life and art:

Wishing on the Moon by Donald Clarke - the definitive biography

With Billie by Julia Blackburn - a collection of interviews with people who knew Holiday that paints a picture of not only her, but the times in which she lived

The Musician and the Myth by John Szwed - focuses on Holiday as a musician and her persona

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday and William Dufty - only read this after you've read the John Szwed book

Bitter Crop by Paul Alexander - fascinating book that tells the story of the final year of Holiday's life

by Anonymousreply 11May 13, 2024 1:05 PM

Didn't she in her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues admitted how she was lover with Tallulah Bankhead, after Tallulah denied it? Wouldn't that be a pretty bold move in the 1950s when famous people were being blacklisted even for rumors about being gay?

by Anonymousreply 12May 13, 2024 5:25 PM

No, R12. Bankhead threatened to sue Holiday if she so much as mentioned her in the book.

by Anonymousreply 13May 13, 2024 10:44 PM

R13 But she did mention her, no?

by Anonymousreply 14May 14, 2024 12:51 PM

This was pretty raw and honest. And lots scenes of her titties.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 15May 16, 2024 3:27 PM

R15 No. That movie sucked. And they completely ignored her bisexuality/lesbianism

by Anonymousreply 16May 17, 2024 11:47 AM

Great singer and artist taken down by addiction and the life that comes with it.

by Anonymousreply 17May 17, 2024 12:32 PM

I’m afraid her singing style does nothing for me, but that could just be me. I can appreciate an understated vocal, but hers often sounds lifeless, barely there. Chet Baker is similar. Is that because of their drug use, or was that just the cool jazz vibe at the time?

by Anonymousreply 18May 17, 2024 12:44 PM

She had a "small" voice. It had nothing to do with your drug addiction. You might be the only person to ever describe it as "lifeless."

by Anonymousreply 19May 17, 2024 3:41 PM

R14, she did not mention Bankhead in her autobiography.

by Anonymousreply 20May 17, 2024 3:42 PM

R20 Thank you. I got my facts mixed up. I know that she sent her a letter.

And it reads: "Dear Miss Bankhead: I thought I was a friend of yours. That’s why there was nothing in my book that was unfriendly to you, unkind or libelous. Because I didn’t want to drag you, I tried six times last month to talk to you on the damn phone, and tell you about the book just as a matter of courtesy. That bitch you have who impersonates you kept telling me to call back and when I did, it was the same deal until I gave up. But while I was working out of town, you didn’t mind talking to Doubleday and suggesting behind my damned back that I had flipped and/or made up those little mentions of you in my book. Baby, Cliff Allen and Billy Heywood are still around. My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together! I don’t know whether you’ve got one of those damn lawyers telling you what to do or not. But I’m writing this to give you a chance to answer back quick and apologize to me and to Doubleday. Read my book over again. I understand they sent you a duplicate manuscript. There’s nothing in it to hurt you. If you think so, let’s talk about it like I wanted to last month. It’s going to press right now so there is no time for monkeying around. Straighten up and fly right, Banky! Nobody’s trying to drag you. Billie Holiday."

Interesting how Tallulah who was supposedly this wild loud snarky lady, not shy to talk about any sexual subject and being proud ambisextrous, as she called it, was so afraid that anything about her and Billie hooking up would come into the public.

by Anonymousreply 21May 17, 2024 7:35 PM

I dont think it had much to do with her sexuality. At the time, Holiday's music was overshadowed in the public eye by her drug addiction and her stint in federal prison. Her reputation was that of a strung-out hophead and that was the reason Bankhead (and others) didn't want to be associated with her.

While her drug addiction is still a well-known fact today, her reputation has been greatly rehabilitated over the years.

by Anonymousreply 22May 18, 2024 11:46 AM
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