Much of what I read about Billie Holiday strikes me as morbidly unhealthy: the fascination with her drug addiction, her abusive men. I can’t pretend that those aspects of her life did not exist, but I was thrilled to ask Dan Morgenstern, now ninety, to recall the Lady — and to have him share warm, personal stories.
First, a musical interlude:
Now, here’s Dan, at his Upper West Side apartment: the subject, Lady Day as she was in real life, with anecdotes about Martha Raye, Tommy Flanagan, Lester Young, Zutty Singleton as well:
and the second part — more about Billie, with anecdotes about George Wein, Lester Young, Budd Johnson, Paul Quinichette, Chuck Israels, John Simmons, and Benny Goodman:
Thank you, Dan! And there are more beautiful stories to come.
May your happiness increase!