Lady Day finds a beautiful new place on the web, launched before her 100th birthday
New site dedicated to the artistry of Billie Holiday launched by music publisher The Bicycle Music Company, which announced this week a merger with Concord Music Group
The Bicycle Music Group today announced the launch of a new website celebrating the 100th birthday of Billie Holiday. The new website contains a wealth of information, artwork and video featuring the legendary jazz artist, and especially emphasizes both social media, as well as music streaming. Lady Day would have been 100 on April 7th.
“When you first start working in music, you never quite think that someday you could be working one of the greats, especially the great legacy of Billie Holiday,” said Bicycle Music CEO Jake Wisely in the announcement for the new website. “It is both a privilege and an honor for The Bicycle Music Company to represent the Estate of Billie Holiday through 100 years of the great Lady Day.”
The website features a wealth of information on the songs and albums released by Holiday, as well as photographs and video. But the site is designed with social media in mind, with Twitter hashtags created, and deep integration with other social networks.
Holiday was born in Philadelphia on April 7, 1915. Her father was musician who left the family early on. Holiday’s childhood was difficult, but when her mother moved to Harlem Holiday was able to join her in 1929.
Holiday began singing in clubs at age 17, and in 1933 the music producer John Hammond heard and later arranged for her first recording dates with Benny Goodman for Columbia, resulting in “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and “Riffin’ the Scotch.” Many consider her recordings with Teddy Wilson in the mid-to-late thirties to be among her best, especially those featuring the tenor saxophonist Lester Young. In 1939, Holiday began recording for Commodore where she introduced the song “Strange Fruit” based on a poem about a lynching. It was during this time that she first recorded “Fine and Mellow” (see below), which she wrote.
Holiday continued to record through the ’40s and ’50s, but died virtually essentially penniless while under police guard in a New York City hospital in 1959 (she had been dogged by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics).