The Voice of Billie Holiday Essay

The Voice of Billie Holiday Essay

Length: 1508 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Voice of Billie Holiday

 
    A woman stands before you, and although she isn't a politician, she expresses her moving thoughts on issues that affect all Americans. Her voice isn't harsh or demanding in tone. Her stature is slender and traced in a shimmer of light that reflects from her dress. A southern magnolia is lying comfortably above her ear. She sings. She sings of incomprehension, of hate, and of a race's pain. She sings low and confused. She sings as "Our Lady of Sorrow"(Davis 1), a representation of a whole people torn and discriminated against.  And though her speech is not spoken, she moves a crowd, one that gathers into many. Billie Holiday comes to prove that one woman's voice, singing one song, that calls awareness to one issue of society, can change the world.

 

      Music has come to shape our views of society, love, race, and creed. We can all remember a time when a song evoked an emotion. The song seemed to express every feeling within us. The artist sang the words we longed to say, and the music expressed all the things we couldn't speak. At the same time, music can help express the things we don't understand in life, creating a bridge between differences. Music of a different artist can represent the point of view of someone that you don't understand, that looks at you funny, dresses different, speaks oddly, and believes something you don't. Music can express the emotions you feel, and the emotions that someone else feels.. Ray Charles once said, "Thank God for music, it was a salvation"(Keep on Pushing). Music is emotion: whether rage, love, lust, hate or confusion, music teaches us that our views fall within the same staff as the views of those we don't understand. ...


... middle of paper ...


...

<www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/08/reviews/980.08davist.html.>.

Davis, Francis. "Our Lady of Sorrows." 2000. 9 Nov. 2001.

<www.theatlantic.com/issues/2001/11/davis.htm>.

Ellis, James. "Black Female Jazz Artists and Race and Gender Conscious Protest: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald." 12 Nov 2001. <www.wam.edu/~ellisj/news_femalejazz.htm>.

Foley, Jack. David Marolick, Strange Fruit: Billy Holiday, Café Society, and an Early

Cry for Civil Rights. The Alsop Review. Running Press. 9 Nov. 2001.       <www.alsopreview.com/foley/jfmargolick.html>.

Keep on Pushing: Say it Loud. VH1 Productions, 2001.

Margolick, David. "Strange Fruit: A Song that Reverberates in the American Soul." 14

Nov. 2001. <www.qkw.com/racematters/nytarchjb218.htm>.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Harlem Renaissance, Jazz and Billie Holiday Essay

- The Harlem Renaissance, Jazz and Billie Holiday In Harlem, the people sit on their front porches in protest of the summer Sunday sun, fanning themselves with the morning paper as the day slides away. Out on the streets, neighbors call to each other. A woman’s voice is audible from an open window, singing nonsensically as she scrubs. Her melodies tumble out the window and intertwine with the trembling harmonica rising from the heat of the pavement and venture into the store on the corner. The boisterous laughter of men on the porch mixes with the skip of the jump rope slapping the sidewalk and the shrieking of children....   [tags: Billie Holiday Harlem Renaissance Essays]

Powerful Essays
3499 words (10 pages)

Essay on Billie Holiday

- Billie was born to the name, Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915. She was born in Philadelphia but grew up in the Fell's Point section of Baltimore. Her mother, was just 13 at the time of her birth; her father, was 15. Holidays' teenage parents, Sadie Harris (aka Fagan) and probable father, Clarence Holiday, never married, and they did not live together for a long time. Clarence, a banjo and guitar player worked with Fletcher Henderson's band in the early 30s. He remains a shady figure who left his family....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Billie Holiday

- Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of her poverty stricken childhood in Baltimore. Lady Day, as she was named by Lester Young, had to overcome many tragedies in her lifetime and yet still became one of the most popular jazz-blues vocalists of all time.      Billie's Parents, Sally Fagan and Clarence Holiday, were both born in Baltimore. They married as teens and soon Sally gave birth to Eleanora Fagan. Shortly after the birth, Clarence Holiday deserted his family to tour with Fletcher Henderson's band....   [tags: Music Holiday Biographies Essays]

Powerful Essays
2150 words (6.1 pages)

Ella Fitzgerald And Billie Holiday Essay

- Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday were both prominent jazz singer-songwriters during the same time and masters in their own right, but their worlds could not have been further apart. In 1939, while they were both in the midst of experiencing mainstream success, Ella was touring with Ella and her Famous Orchestra and showcasing her perfect pitch and tone to the world while singing songs that would soon become standards to fellow singers and musicians. Billie was singing solo, comfortable with her limited range, and gaining the adoration of audiences nationwide who loved her soulful voice....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, Blues]

Powerful Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Billie Holiday Essay

- Billie Holiday was an African-American and she was born in April, 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had no formal music education when she was step into the stage of the club platform to sing. She had an amazing voice and several producers appreciated her talents and promoted her to become a recognition jazz singer. Her addiction of drugs and alcohol ultimately damaged her liver and heart. She was pledged to guilty in court when the police found a possession of an illegal substance in her New York City apartment....   [tags: biography, music, ]

Powerful Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Jazz The Sound Of The Heart Essays

- Jazz the Sound of the Heart In a blog written by Virginia Hughes she states that “Music moves people of all cultures, Vocal Jazz and collaborations with other sub-genres such as bebop jazz, cool jazz and hard bob didn’t only affected the culture throughout the eras, but created an outlet for many artists to express their repressed feelings during difficult time periods, and allowed a strong rooted foundation for Jazz in whole to continue to develop. “Vocal Jazz” has been able to touch the deepest human emotions through the voice of the songs and powerful melodies behind them.in a way that doesn’t seem to happen with other animals....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, Billie Holiday]

Powerful Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Billie Holiday: A Brief Biography Essay

- Billie Holiday was an African-American jazz singer and songwriter.Billie Holiday was the biological child of Sadie Fagan and Clarence Holiday. Sadie was thirteen when she had Billie. At the same time, Clarence was an irresponsible father who did not care about his daughter's Billie. From Billie's early life, she grew up in a broken family. In other word, she had no father to support throughout her childhood and her mother who was struggling financially as a teen mom that often neglect the time to take care of Billie....   [tags: African American music]

Powerful Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

Billie Holiday Essay

- Billie Holiday, whose real name is Eleanora Gough, was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1915. She grew up mostly in Baltimore and always loved jazz. Billie was born to very young parents. Her mother was thirteen when she was born and her father just fifteen. (www.numberonestars.com, 2010) Her father made his living as a jazz musician and later he left Billie’s mother. Billie was raised by her mother and grandparents. Billie was not a happy child and eventually left school at an early age....   [tags: Music, Jazz]

Powerful Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Billie Holiday Essay

- Many jazz artists as we know it are quite talented. Their talents are unique in that they can translate human emotion through singing or playing their instruments. Many have the ability to reach and touch people’s souls through their amazing gifts. Although this art of turning notes and lyrics into emotional imagery may somewhat come natural, the audience must wonder where their influence comes from. For Billie Holiday, her career was highly influenced by personal experience, the effects of the Great Depression, and the racial challenges of African Americans during her time. The Great Depression was a major historical event that affected thousands of Americans during the 1930s....   [tags: Musicians ]

Powerful Essays
1345 words (3.8 pages)

Billie Holiday Essay

- To understand the controversy that Billie presented one must first go to the root or source of such controversy and examine Billie's childhood. Billie was born Eleanora Harris to her father Clarence Holiday and mother Sadie Fagan who were just fifteen and thirteen years old, respectively, at the time (A 91). Born between 1912 and 1915 in Baltimore, the date unsure, Billie grew up without her father, who moved away early on in her life. Billie and her mother used to fight a lot, when her mother was around....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)