Billie Holiday: Ladies Sing the Blues & Beyond

Dec 17, 2015

For Billie Holiday's centennial celebration, we hear her voice in songs ranging from "God Bless the Child" and "My Man" to "Strange Fruit." Biographers John Szwed and Robert O'Meally discuss Lady Day's style and significance, while Cassandra Wilson describes and sings her approach to the Billie Holiday oeuvre. We follow Billie from her beginnings through a complex life of troubles and musical triumphs, her compelling "autumn" voice and untimely passing at age 44. Singer Catherine Russell describes reaching back to recreate classic blues and jazz. From our archives we hear Nina Simone and Bonnie Raitt praising their blues heroines in story and song.