Lady Day was the first female jazz singer with a hit!
Born in 1915, Billie Holiday was the first female Jazz singer that recorded hits and became world famous.
Only Bessie Smith was born before her (1894, and she was a Blues singer). Ella Fitzgerald was born in 1917 and released her first big hit in 1938 (A-Tisket, A-Tasket).
So Billie Holiday was first out of the blocks with her single in 1934, two years later she had three massive tunes in These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You), Summertime, and The Way You Look Tonight.
The following year, 1937 she released Pennies From Heaven, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, and Nice Work If You Can Get It.
1939 the extremely controversial Strange Fruit was released which was a miracle in segregated America.
Two years later, God Bless The Child came out, this was actually one of her own compositions, very uncommon in those days.
Apart from the aforementioned, Billie Holiday’s legendary tunes include Blue Moon, All Of Me, April In Paris, I’ll Be Seeing You, Georgia On My Mind, and Solitude.
Her career would stretch into the late 50s when she died only a year after her album Lady In Satin was released in 1958.
Being one of the first female jazz singers, many standards have been connected with her “original” version. Her legacy is up there with a handful of other greats that came to define the genre.
In 2021, United States vs Billie Holiday was released with Andra Day playing Billie Holiday, she was nominated for an Oscar and won the Golden Globe for her performance as Lady Day.
Billie Holiday tunes | Related pages
All Of Me
| Bbmaj7 | Bbmaj7 | D7 | D7 |
All of me, why not take all of me?
| G7 | G7 | Cm | Cm |
Can’t you see, I’m no good without you.
| Abmaj7 Fm7 | Bbm7 Eb7 | Abmaj7 Fm7 |
Blue moon, you saw me standing alone.
| Bbm7 Eb7 | Gb7b5 F7 | E7b9 Eb7 | Ab6 Fm7 | Bbm7 Eb7 |
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.
Georgia On My Mind
| G | B7/F# B7 |
| Em Dm69 | C C#dim7 |
The whole day through (the whole day through).
| Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C | Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C |
Summertime, and the living is easy.
| Ebm7 Gb | Ebm7 Ebm7/Db | F7b9/C Gb7 | F7 |
Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high.