As I create, and prepare for an upcoming Jazz gig, I've been drawn to learning more about the late, great Billie Holiday, also known as Lady Day. Her life was quite tragic and hard, but she gave so much through impactful music. Her voice is vulnerable and emotes so much sadness in many of her songs. I can learn so much from how she delivers each lyric like it was her very own. She was a songwriter herself, but she also was a true artist for being able to take lyrics written by others and singing like it was her story. She was the original recording artist for the well known song "Strange Fruit," which was released in 1939. She has been honored during and after her life, where she even has a statue in Baltimore. Her single "Lover Man" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1989, and she was inducted in the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame in 1997.
This 3-time Grammy award winning Singer - Singwriter, made a name for himself with hits like “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean On Me.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2015.
Since it is Black History Month, I'm educating myself more on impactful African Americans. I started my week off by watching a great documentary on John Coltrane on Netflix called Chasing Trane. He accomplished so much in his forty short years of life. He created a whole new sound in the Jazz genre, and was a part of great bands like the Miles Davis Quintet. He later formed his own band, and became known as an exceptional saxophonist and composer.
Black History Facts: Marian Anderson was the first African American singer to perform at the White House and New York City's Metropolitan Opera. She lived 1902 to 1993. She made a name for herself overseas in Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, etc. She started her American tour in New York City in 1935.
My life is a song still being written...watch my lyrics evolve.