#2856 – 1994 29c Blues and Jazz Singers: Billie Holiday

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U.S. #2856
29¢ Billie Holiday
Blues and Jazz Singers
 
Issue Date: September 17, 1994
City: Greenville, MS
Quantity: 24,986,800
Printed By: Ashton-Potter
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11 x 10.8
Color: Multicolored
 
Eleanor Fagan was born in Baltimore in 1915. Her father, Clarence Holiday, was a successful traveling musician. She moved with her mother to New York City in 1929, where she first heard recordings of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. In 1930, while barely a teenager, “Billie” Holiday began playing small Harlem clubs. Two years later, jazz critic John Hammond helped her start recording with Benny Goodman. Although she was relatively unknown until 1935, these first recordings are considered jazz masterpieces.
 
From 1935-39 she made recordings with Teddy Wilson’s orchestra, as well as under her own name, which brought her a great deal of fame. Holiday also sang for Count Basie’s band in ’37 and with Artie Shaw in ’38. Through the 1940s and ’50s she toured clubs and theaters, and in 1954 and ’58 she toured Europe.
 
Billie Holiday’s personal life was marked by tragic events, including her addiction to, and eventual death from, heroin use in 1959. Her music was also emotional, with a warm, intensely personal style. Much of her best work was performed with her lover, saxophonist Lester Young, who gave her the endearing nickname “Lady Day.” Among her many hits were “All of Me,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Fine and Mellow.”
 
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U.S. #2856
29¢ Billie Holiday
Blues and Jazz Singers
 
Issue Date: September 17, 1994
City: Greenville, MS
Quantity: 24,986,800
Printed By: Ashton-Potter
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11 x 10.8
Color: Multicolored
 
Eleanor Fagan was born in Baltimore in 1915. Her father, Clarence Holiday, was a successful traveling musician. She moved with her mother to New York City in 1929, where she first heard recordings of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. In 1930, while barely a teenager, “Billie” Holiday began playing small Harlem clubs. Two years later, jazz critic John Hammond helped her start recording with Benny Goodman. Although she was relatively unknown until 1935, these first recordings are considered jazz masterpieces.
 
From 1935-39 she made recordings with Teddy Wilson’s orchestra, as well as under her own name, which brought her a great deal of fame. Holiday also sang for Count Basie’s band in ’37 and with Artie Shaw in ’38. Through the 1940s and ’50s she toured clubs and theaters, and in 1954 and ’58 she toured Europe.
 
Billie Holiday’s personal life was marked by tragic events, including her addiction to, and eventual death from, heroin use in 1959. Her music was also emotional, with a warm, intensely personal style. Much of her best work was performed with her lover, saxophonist Lester Young, who gave her the endearing nickname “Lady Day.” Among her many hits were “All of Me,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Fine and Mellow.”