The intensely intimate but totally platonic relationship that developed between Young and Holiday from 1934 was publicly recognized during their lifetime.
Prez & Lady Day: The Story of Billie Holiday and Lester Young
In the 30s Billie Holiday and Lester Young recorded a series of memorable sides together. “He’s Funny That Way,” “Travlin’ All Alone” and “Easy Livin,” are just a few. This edition of Riverwalk Jazz touches on their musical collaboration and the personal friendship between these two titans of jazz.
Billie and Lester had an amazing intuitive rapport when they got together to make music. Listening to their recordings, it’s clear they inspired each other musically. (In 2009, the Sony label reissued a collection of their recordings under the title, A Musical Romance.)
For Billie Holiday singing was a way to survive. Born poor and black in Baltimore around 1915, she grew up in Harlem, supported by her mother who worked as a maid. Billie said, “The Depression was nothing new to us, we always had it.” more