BILLIE HOLIDAY STYLE

TV/FILM/DOCUMENTARIES

BOOKS & DVD'S

The following is a comprehensive list of Billie Holiday in the printed word, courtesy of writer/broadcaster Ian Clayton.

Billie Holiday with William Dufty, (1956) Lady Sings the Blues; Doubleday. The notorious autobiography on which the film of the same name is loosely based.

John Szwed, (2016) Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth; Penguin Books. Offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim.

John Chilton, (1975) Billie's Blues; Quartet. Well researched hard facts about Billie’s recording career.

Chris Ingham, (2000) Billie Holiday; Unanimous. An entry in the “Diva’s” series.

David Margolick, (2000) Strange Fruit; Running Press. The impact of “Café Society and an early cry for human rights.

Bud Kliment, (1990) Billie Holiday-Singer; Chelsea House. Black Americans of achievement series.

Leslie Gourse, (1997) Billie Holiday Companion; Schirmer. Compilation of various, mostly hard to find writings on Billie.

John White, (1987) Billie Holiday: Her Life and Times; Spellmount. Larger format book in “Jazz Lifetimes” series.

Leslie Gourse, (1995) Billie Holiday - The tragedy and triumph of Lady Day.; Franklin Watts.

Stuart Nicholson, (1995) Billie Holiday; Victor Gollancz. A model of biographical writing, much previously unknown material.

Michel Fontanes, (1999) Billie et Paris; Editions Rive Droite. Thoroughly researched chronicle of Billies time in Paris 1954 and 1958. English translation available.

Marc-Edouard Nabe, (1986) L‘âme de Billie Holiday; L’infini Denoël. Novel, not published in English.

Farah Jasmin Griffin, (2001) If You Can't Be Free, Be A Mystery; The Free Press. A groundbreaking study that confronts the myths.

Robert O’Meally, (1991) Lady Day, The Many Faces of Billie Holiday; Arcade. Superbly illustrated; scholarly and enlightened.

Donald Clarke, (1994) Wishing On the Moon; Viking Penguin. A near definite account.

Burnett James, (1984) Billie Holiday; Spellmount/Hippocrene. Small Format, An introduction in the Jazz Masters series.

Melvin Maddocks, (1979) Billie Holiday (Giants of Jazz); Time Life. Biography to accompany a Time Life record set.

Ken Vail, (1996) Lady Day’s Diary; Castle. A month by month Chronology of Lady’s career.

Paola Boncompagni, (1992) Lady Day Life and Songs; Nuovi Equilibri. Small format book to accompany mini CD from Italy.

Julia Blackburn, (2005) With Billie; Jonathan Cape. A well constructed book, uses interviews undertaken by Linda Kuehl in the 1970’s.

Magdalena Alagna, (2003) Billie Holiday (Rock & Roll Hall of Famers); Rosen. An entry in the “rock and roll hall of famers” series, introduction for teenagers.

Alain Gerber, (2005) Lady Day, Histoires d’Amour; Fayard. A novel about Billie in French.

Danièle Robert, (1995) Les Chants de l’Aube de Lady Day; Le Temps Qu’Il Faut. A novel about Billie’s life in French.

Sylvia Fol, (2006) Billie Holiday; Folio. A complete book in French of Billie’s life with several insights on Billie's ambiguous sexuality.

Gary Giddins, (1992) Faces In the Crowd; Oxford University Press. A fine collection of essays and criticism.

Eric Hobsbawm, (1998) Uncommon People, Rebellion and Jazz; Wiedenfield and Nicholson. Includes an obituary of Billie.

Françoise Sagan, (1984) Avec Mon Meilleur Souvenir; Folio. In english "With Fondest Regards” (1998) Alison and Busby, affectionate and candid tribute.

Angela Y. Davies, (1999) Blues Legacies, Black Feminism; Vintage. Scholarly research into the sociology of blues and jazz from female standpoint.

Robyn Archer & Diane Symonds, (1986) A Star is Torn; Virago. An anthology of various women singers, part of a stageshow.

Burnett James, (1964) Essays on Jazz; Jazz Book Club. An essay called "Billie Holiday and the Art of Communication."

Bennu Green, (1964) The Reluctant Art; Jazz Book Club. A forty page essay called "Billie Holiday."

Martin T. Williams, (1962) The Art of Jazz; Jazz Book Club. Essay entitled "Billie Holiday" by Glen Coulter.

Martin T. Williams, (1965) Jazz Panorama; Jazz Book Club. Another essay by Glen Coulter, reviewing Billie records.

Leonard Feather, (1974) From Satchmo to Miles; Stein and Day. Personal stories from the great jazz writer.

Martin Williams, (1983) The Jazz Tradition; Oxford Univ. Press. An essay entitled: "Actress without an act."

Max Jones, (1987) Talking Jazz; McMillan Press. Adventures involving the writer and Billie on tour in England 1954.

Roy Carr, (1999) Jazz Singers; Hamlyn. Glossy, large format introduction to jazz vocalists.

Francis Davis, (1990) Outcats; Oxford Univ. Press. Essays on jazz people including "The Man Who Danced with Billie Holiday."

Will Friedwald, (1991) Jazz Singing; Quartet. Superb book, essay called "Lady Day and Lady Time."

Hettie Jones, (1974) Big Star Fallin' Mama; Viking. Warm portraits of five singers including Billie.

Henry Pleasants, (1974) The Great American Popular Singers; Victor Gollancz. A wonderful survey of vocal art.

Kitty Grime, (1983) Jazz Voices; Quartet. A patchwork of interviews with jazz people, a chapter about Billie.

Studs Terkel, (1957) Giants of Jazz; The New Press. A series of beautifully observed portraits, chapter on Billie "God Bless The Child."

Carol Boston, (2009) Becoming Billie Holiday; Weatherford. Award-winning poet and professor excellent book—a fictional verse memoir.

John Hammond with Irving Townsend, (1981) John Hammond on record: An autobiography; Penguin. Autobiography of the jazz buff and record company man.

Maya Angelou, (1986) The Heart of a Woman; Virago. Fourth volume of the great black writer's autobiography.

Jeremy Reed, (1999) Angels Divas and Black Listed Heroes; Peter Owen. A challenging series of essays by poet and novelist.

Leslie Gourse, (1995) Madame Jazz; Oxford Univ. Press. The history of women in Jazz.

Sally Placksin, (1985) Jazz Women, 1900 to the Present; Pluto. Words, lives and music of nearly a century of jazz women.

Leslie Gourse, (1984) Louis’ Children American Jazz Singers; Quill. A comprehensive overview of the Louis Armstrong legacy.

Harry Shapiro, (1988) Waiting for the Man; Quartet. Drugs and their links to popular music.

Arnold Shaw, (1977) 52nd Street: The Street of Jazz; Da Capo. Originally published as "The Street That Never Slept," a slice of jazz nightlife.

Buck Clayton, (1986) Buck Clayton’s Jazz World; McMillan. Story of the great trumpeter and Billie accompanist.

Ted Fox, (1985) Show Time at the Apollo; Quartet. A survey of 50 years of the great Harlem theatre.

William P. Gottleib, (1995) The Golden Age of Jazz; Pomegranate. A nostalgic look back to the 1930’s and 40’s.

Charles Fox & Valerie Wilmer, (1971) The Jazz Scene; Hamlyn. A nicely illustrated overview.

Joachim Berendt, (1984) The Jazz Book (Revised Edition); Paladin. One of the truly great jazz histories.

Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns, (2000) Jazz, A History of America’s Music; Pimlico. Excellent research, beautifully illustrated tie in to TV series.

Teddy Wilson, A. Lightart, H. Van Loo, (1996) Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz; Cassell. A candid account account of Wilson’s life and career.

Arnold Shaw, (1986) Black Popular Music in America; Schirmer. Comprehensive and well researched.

John Chilton, (1979) Jazz; Hodder and Stoughton. Intro to history and practice of jazz music, best of this type.

Whitney Balliet, (1964) Dinosaurs in the Morning; J. Dent. Essays by the New York Times Jazz critic.

Stanley Dance, (1974) The World of Swing; Scribners. A chronicle of the big band era.

Philip Larkin, (1970) All What Jazz; Faber. Criticism and record reviews by famous English poet.

Cynthia Palmer & Michael Horowitz, (2000) Sisters of the Extreme; Park St. Press. Women writing about their drug experience.

Alice Adams, (1984) Listening to Billie; Penguin. A beautiful novel that starts in a 1950’s Manhattan night- club.

John Wieners, (1996) 707 Scott St.; Sun and Moon. Poetry and prose dedicated to Billie.

Anne Grifalconi, (1999) Tinny’s Hat; Harper Collins. For children, a young girl wears her musician father’s hat.

Robert Somma, (1973) No One Waved Goodbye; Charisma. Includes the poem "The Day Lady Day Died (Lunch Poems 1963).

Alexis De Veaux, (1988) Don’t Explain; Writers and Readers. A prose poem in tribute to Billie.

Carlos Sampayo & Jose Munoz, (1993) Billie Holiday; Fantagraphics Books. Imaginative stuff, a graphic novel.

Elisabeth Hardwick, (1979) Sleepless Nights; Random House. A stunning novel, taking in memory, affection and Billie Holiday in Harlem.

Jeremy Reed, (2001) Saint Billie; Enitharmon Press. An anthology that captures the drama of Billie’s life and the jazz age.

Billie is of course mentioned in every reference work on jazz. Following are strongly recommended.

Leonard Feather, (1960) The Encyclopeadia of Jazz; Arthur Baker. One of the first in the field and still very reliable.

John Chilton, (1970) Who’s Who of Jazz; Bloomsbury. Obsessively comprehensive.

David Meeker, (1981) Jazz in the Movies; Talisman. Indispensable guide to jazz on film, includes all of Billie appearances plus TV.

John Fordham, (1993) Jazz; Dorling Kindersley. History, instruments, musicians, recordings, a connoisseur’s book.

Ian Carr, D. Fairweather, B. Priestlet, (1987) Jazz Essential Companion; Grafton. Homage to jazz musicians everywhere.

Richard Cook, Brian Morton, (1992) Pengin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP and Cassette; Penguin. Definitive reference work with criticism of all available recordings.

Roy Carr, (1998) A Century of Jazz; Hamlyn. Beautifully illustrated celebration of jazz history.

Brian Case, S. Britt, C. Murray, (1986) Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz; Salamender. For the buff or the new fan.

Barry MaCrae, (1987) The Jazz Handbook; Longman. Practical, easy to use and insightful.

Jorgen Grunnet Jepsen, (1969) Discography of Billie Holiday; Knudsen (Denmark). Small, home published discography.

Jack Millar, (1979) Born to Swing; JazzMedia (Denmark). A model for all discographical writing. Updated by Jack Millar until his death in 1999.