[30][31], Billie Holiday's performances and recordings, Review: Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, "Strange Fruit is still a song for today", "The Strange Story of the Man Behind 'Strange Fruit, "Strange Fruit: Anniversary Of A Lynching". Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. The song was highly regarded; the 1939 recording eventually sold a million copies,[7] in time becoming Holiday's biggest-selling recording. So she turned to friend Milt Gabler, whose Commodore label produced alternative jazz. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, sh… Billie Holiday was so well known for her rendition of "Strange Fruit" that "she crafted a relationship to the song that would make them inseparable". Holiday sang “Strange Fruit” for him a cappella, and moved him to tears. On the recording, Holiday starts singing after 70 seconds. Why is that? Andra Day transforms into “Lady Day” in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, the upcoming Lee Daniels biopic about the iconic Blues singer that will debut on Hulu this February. Album At Jazz At The Philharmonic (1954) by Billie Holiday. Holiday first performed the song at Café Society in 1939. The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth Essay by Cary O’Dell . The Tragic Story Behind Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" "Strange Fruit" was originally a poem. Suite 450, Los Angeles, CA 90036 View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1975 RI Vinyl release of Strange Fruit on Discogs. The photo was a shot of two black men hanging from a tree after they had been lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930. About Strange Fruit lyrics. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1999 Paper Sleeve CD release of Strange Fruit on Discogs. He published the poem under the title “Bitter Fruit” in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine. “Strange Fruit” was originally a poem called “Bitter Fruit,” written by Jewish schoolteacher and … In her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday suggested that she, together with Meeropol, her accompanist Sonny White, and arranger Danny Mendelsohn, set the poem to music. “Strange Fruit”—Billie Holiday (1939) Added to the National Registry: 2002 . Gabler worked out a special arrangement with Vocalion Records to record and distribute the song. The poem was published in the January 1937 issue of a union publication called The New York Teacher. Holiday recorded two major sessions of the song at Commodore, one in 1939 and one in 1944. List of lynching victims in the United States, William "Froggie" James and Henry Salzner, Thomas Moss, Henry Stewart, Calvin McDowell (TN), Thomas Harold Thurmond and John M. Holmes, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, National Museum of African American History and Culture, "The United States of Lyncherdom" (Twain), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Strange_Fruit&oldid=997228600, United States National Recording Registry recordings, Works originally published in American magazines, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 15:36. Though he had often asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself and the piece gained a certain success as a protest song in and around New York. [17] Gabler worked out a special arrangement with Vocalion Records to record and distribute the song.[18]. In 1978 Holiday’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Strange Fruit: The most shocking song of all time? This will appeal to any lover of Billie Holliday and her music. Columbia allowed Holiday a one-session release from her contract in order to record it and Frankie Newton’s eight-piece Cafe Society Band was used for the session. [5], "Strange Fruit" originated as a poem written by Jewish-American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings. Song information for Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday on AllMusic ... Four of a Kind: 200 Classic Songs (From Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong) Hli: Various Artists . Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan, said she always thought of … [3], Meeropol set his lyrics to music with his wife and singer Laura Duncan and performed it as a protest song in New York City venues in the late 1930s, including Madison Square Garden. [9] Holiday first performed the song at Café Society in 1939. Billie Holiday helped shape American popular music with her voice and unique style. [9][10] Though Meeropol had asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set "Strange Fruit" to music himself. Label Clef Records. “Strange Fruit” is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Not long after Eleanora w… Song information for Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday on AllMusic. In accordance with the generous wishes of William Gottlieb, the photographs in the William P. Gottlieb Collection entered into the public domain on February 16, 2010. Written by a white, Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx and a member of the Communist Party, Abel Meeropol wrote it as a protest poem, exposing American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. CONCORD By checking this box I consent to the use of my information provided for email marketing purposes. Billie Holiday recorded her iconic version of Strange Fruit on 20 April 1939. “Strange fruit” as sung by Billie Holiday, is a protest song about the lynching of black people and uncovers the brutality of racism and violence in South America. Diana Ross recorded the song for her debut film, the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and it was included on the chart topping soundtrack album. Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1972 PR Vinyl release of Strange Fruit on Discogs. But there was no in between. But, her legacy extends way beyond music with one song in particular — "Strange Fruit." Audience members roared with applause and clapped until their hands stung, with a comparably low number of walkouts by obvious racists. “Strange Fruit” is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Because Gabler worried the song was too short, he asked pianist Sonny White to improvise an introduction. "[21] In an attempt to have a two-thirds majority in the Senate that would break the filibusters by the southern senators, anti-racism activists were encouraged to mail copies of "Strange Fruit" to their senators. [20] Holiday's 1939 version of the song was included in the National Recording Registry on January 27, 2003. "Strange Fruit" is a song recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, written by Abel Meeropol and published in 1937. [29] The group's rendition was selected by the Mojo magazine staff to be included on the compilation Music Is Love: 15 Tracks That Changed The World . In October 1939, Samuel Grafton of The New York Post described “Strange Fruit”: “If the anger of the exploited ever mounts high enough in the South, it now has its ‘Marseillaise’.”. Billie Holiday first performed “Strange Fruit” in 1939 at Café Society, New York City’s first integrated jazz club, after reportedly being introduced to the song by the club’s founder. Listen to " strange fruit ". Because he was worried that the song was too short, Gabler asked pianist Sonny White to improvise an introduction so that Holiday only starts singing after 70 seconds. Licensing Inquiries: [email protected], SUBSCRIBE NOWGet the latest on all things Billie Holiday, Email Address Written by a white, Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx and a member of the Communist Party, Abel Meeropol wrote it as a protest poem, exposing American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday trailer below. [4] It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. “Strange Fruit” is a poem written by American-Jewish songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol in 1937, and was famously covered and recorded by Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan) in … In October 1939, Samuel Grafton of the New York Post said of "Strange Fruit", "If the anger of the exploited ever mounts high enough in the South, it now has its Marseillaise. The United States vs. Billie Holiday Trailer. By checking this box I consent to the use of my information provided for email marketing purposes. Strange Fruit. The film directed by Lee Daniels, who is responsible for classic entertainment like Precious, The Butler and Fox’s Star, will showcase how the Federal Bureau of Narcotics launched an undercover sting operation against Billie Holiday after her song “Strange Fruit” … In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the “Top 20 Political Songs”. First performed by Meeropol's wife and their friends in social contexts,[10] his protest song gained a certain success in and around New York. Eleanora Fagan was born on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, the daughter of African-American unwed teenage couple Sarah Julia "Sadie" Fagan and Clarence Holiday. "Strange Fruit: the first great protest song", Bettye LaVette Unleashes Cover of Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’, "Video: Listen To Edward W. Hardy's Haunting String Quartet Arrangement Of 'Strange Fruit'", "Strange Fruit: The most shocking song of all time", "Music Is Love! [22], Notable cover versions of this song include Nina Simone (whose version was sampled in Kanye West's "Blood on the Leaves"[23]), René Marie,[23] Jeff Buckley,[23] Siouxsie and the Banshees,[24] Dee Dee Bridgewater,[24] Josh White,[25] UB40,[24] Bettye LaVette[26] and Edward W. The original title was "Bitter Fruit," and the song started as a poem Meeropol wrote. In the lyrics, black victims are portrayed as “strange fruit,” as they hang from trees, rotting in the sun, blowing in the wind, and becoming food for crows upon being burned. [23] LA Times noted that Siouxsie and the Banshees's version contained "a solemn string section behind the vocals" and "a bridge of New Orleans funeral-march jazz" which enhanced the singer's "evocative interpretation". Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, New York’s first integrated nightclub, heard the song and introduced it to Billie Holiday. 5750 Wilshire Blvd. The song reminded Holiday of her father. The two men are the "Strange Fruit." She developed some of her trademark stage persona there—wearing gardenias in … Hardy. Billie Holiday made history when she sang a denunciation of racial violence, well ahead of the Civil Rights movement: "Strange Fruit." 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