Billie Holiday: Wishing On The Moon by Donald Clarke

By Donald Clarke

Certainly no singer has been extra mythologized and extra misunderstood than Billie vacation, who helped to create a lot of the mystique herself along with her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. "Now, ultimately, we've a definitive biography," acknowledged Booklist of Donald Clarke's Billie Holiday, "by a deeply compassionate, respectful, and open-minded biographer [whose] portrait embraces each aspect of Holiday's paradoxical nature, from her fierceness to her vulnerability, her childlikeness to her innate beauty and remarkable strength." Clarke was once given unequalled entry to a treasure trove of interviews from the 1970s—interviews with those that knew woman Day from her early life within the streets and good-time homes of Baltimore in the course of the early days of luck in big apple and into the years of reputation, correct as much as her tragic decline and demise on the age of forty-four. Clarke makes use of those interviews to split truth from fiction and, within the phrases of the Seattle Times, "finally units us immediately. . .evoking her international in all its ache, triumph, strength and irony." Newsday referred to as this "a completely riveting account of vacation and her milieu." The New York Times raved that it "may be the main completely useful of the various books on Holiday," and Helen Oakley Dance in JazzTimes acknowledged, "We may still most likely need to wait decades for an additional lifetime of Billie vacation to supersede Donald Clarke's achievement."

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Additional resources for Billie Holiday: Wishing On The Moon

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He looked mulatto. My father was a pretty light fella too, but my Uncle Charlie was lighter than him, so you know he had to be almost white. Our name is Irish, the guys in school used to kid us about it. Pop mention some people in the Civil War days that was good that came from some parts of Virginia, but families don't like digging up things. Whites can go back, but blacks can't. Some people are clannish. It's pride, that's what it is, pride. Some things I ask the family that they don't even tell me.

I know several guys still living here who was her boyfriends. Burley used to go with her. Burley used to be an amateur fighter years ago, but he wasn't all that glamorous . Penny used to go with her. Piano-playing Penny - what's his right name? That's another thing you got to put up with, nicknames. I know people all their lives only by their nickname. It's togetherness, has roots in the nelghbourhood. Billie Holiday was very pretty in the bloom of her youth. Got her colouring from my Uncle Charlie - that's her grandfather, my father's brother .

She went back to New York, but I didn't do it. I didn't keep in contact with her. See, instead of me writing to tell her her father pass, she write and tell me. It tore me to the heart; I guess I could of did that little bit for her . . I should of went back to the house to see how he was getting on. But see, for one thing, when he die, his wife never did notify any of his people. Even his own brothers didn't know he was dead. When Sadie find out, he was dead and buried in the ground. Wee Wee reiterated that Charlie had loved Sadie and Eleanora, that Sadie could get help with her rent from him, Wee Wee, and that Charlie used to come to Durham Street and give Sadie a little money.

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