Billie Holiday

Essays on the Artistry and Legacy

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About the Book

Eleanora “Lady Day” Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, played a primary role in the development of American jazz culture and in African American history. Devoted to the enduring jazz icon, covering many aspects of her career, image and legacy, these fresh essays range from musical and vocal analyses, to critical assessments of film depictions of the singer, to analysis of the social movements and protests addressed by her signature songs, including her impact on contemporary movements such as #BlackLivesMatter. More than a century after her birth, Billie Holiday’s abiding relevance and impact is a testament to the power of musical protest. This collection pays tribute to her creativity, bravery and lasting legacy.

About the Author(s)

Michael V. Perez is an assistant professor of humanities at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. His poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Route Seven Review, BLOOM, The Journal of Florida Studies and Glass Poetry Journal.

Jessica McKee is an assistant professor of humanities and director of the writing center for the academic advancement center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Her research interests include popular culture, gender studies, and the intersections of music and literature.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Michael V. Perez and Jessica McKee

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 177
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7469-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3708-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction (Jessica McKee and Michael V. Perez) 1

In Stereotragic ­Hi-Fidelity: Performing Billie Holiday (Michael V. Perez) 7
Billie Reverberates Her Blues: Advertising Love for Sale That Costs More Than You Know (Tammie Jenkins) 28
Lady Sings the Blues? Tragedy, Autobiography and Reassessment (Anna Maria Barry) 38
Merging Artists: The Legacy of Motown’s Lady Sings the Blues (Claudius Stemmler) 54
“Owning” Billie Holiday in Several Representative Jazz Poems (William Levine) 69
Brigitte Loves Billie: Channeling Holiday in Domino (1988) (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns) 83
Seeing Is Believing? Reading Billie Holiday Through Photography (Matthew Duffus) 97
Shouting Back: Cohering Lady Day Through Kevin Young’s Jazz Poem Anthology (Taylor Joy Mitchell) 112
Reevaluating Lady Sings the Blues and What’s Love Got to Do with It: Ambivalent Representations of Black Female Artistry (Jesse Schlotterbeck) 129
Easy to Love: Representations of Billie Holiday in Contemporary American Poetry (Tara Betts) 142
The Fruit Is on the Ground: The Impact of “Strange Fruit” on Black Lives Matter (Devona Mallory) 151

About the Contributors 163
Index 165