Billie Holiday being the professional name, Eleanora Fagan was an American jazz and swing music singer born on 7th April 1915. She was nicknamed by her music partner and her friend named Lester Young. Billie was so much into Jazz and Pop music; she started innovating influence on them. Her vocal style was strongly inspired by instrumentalists in Jazz and pioneered a new way of manipulating tempo and phrasing. She was well known for her improvisational skills and vocal delivery.
Billie Holiday extensively recorded four labels: Columbia record issued her to record on Brunswick Records, OKeh Records, subsidiary labels in 1933, and it went till 1942 and recorded at Commodore Recordings from 1939 to 1944. She started recording from 1942 to 1950 at Decca recordings, later shifted to Aladdin records in 1951. Verve Records, Clef Records, Columbia Records, and MGM Records in 1952, 1957, and 1959 respectively were lucky to host her. Her songs were well known among the most extraordinary singers, and also, her recordings appeared on 78-rpm Records before the long-playing vinyl record era. Only Verve, Clef, and Columbia issued her albums, which were not any compilation to her previous records during her lifetime. There are so many compilations issued after her death and comprehensive live recordings and box sets.
Top hits of Holiday
There are so many hits of Billie Holiday that had reached millions of copies sold. The book Pop Memories published the Joel Whitburn company’s findings in 1890-1954. Many Holiday songs were listed in the Pop Charts of Whitburn. Her first major release, “Riffin’ the Scotch”, is one of the records where 5000 copies were sold. This record was released in 1933 under the name “Benny Goodman & His Orchestra.” Most ix her successful releases were under the name “Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra”, and during her in Wilson’s band, other musicians would go solo after she sang few bars. In the swing era, Wilson was the most influential jazz pianist. He accompanied Billie like no other musician, and they issued nearly 95 recordings together.
Summertime, and God Bless the child.
“Summertime” was one of the most excellent and most popular Jazz standards, which sold well. It was listed at number 12 of the Pop Charts for the first time in the Jazz standard chart.
After thirty years, the summertime’s R&B version reached higher chart placement than Holiday’s charting at number 10 in 1966.
“God bless the child” is one fine song that was so good that it was sold over a million copies. In 1941, at the year-end of the top songs of Billboard, this song was ranked at number 3.
When Billboard issued R&B Charts on October 24th 1942, two of Billie songs, “Trav’ling Light”, had topped the chart and “Lover Man” was number 5. That year, “Trav’ling Light” had reached number 18 in Billboard’s year-end chart.