Somebody Likes It Ep 108 – Billie Holiday: Lady in Satin

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What a fucking tragedy. I’m not talking about when they took Surge soda off the market, or the final season of the A-Team, or even how all the eagles died because of all the DDT and shit. No, I am referring to Billie Holiday’s life. Essentially birth to death it was non-stop sadness, for no reason other than that she was a proud, independent, other-worldly talented woman of color, with a heroin and alcohol addiction that would ultimately claim her life at age 44. She was handcuffed to her death bed while suffering from end-point liver disease but (!) she still found time in her life to become, if not the finest female vocalist of the 20th century, someone very much in that discussion. I highly urge anyone remotely interested in the history of 20th century music (with a strong stomach) to read up on her.

So I picked this record Lady in Satin, the last album recorded while she was alive, for a reason. It’s not the sassy, meter-bending, I don’t give a shit Billie Holiday that recorded Strange Fruit in 1939. It’s a broken woman close to the end of her life that sounds 30 years older than she was. And I wanted to explore that. And damned if it still wasn’t brilliant. Genius is genius. No matter what the fuck cards the Fates kept dealing Billie Holiday, they couldn’t take that away from her…


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