…in no particular order & with my favorite recording…
Number Seven: Billie Holiday
How one song she sang embodied racial crimes in America: “Strange Fruit”.
Billie Holiday performs at the Downbeat club in New York, 1947 – Photograph by William Gottlieb
Billie Holiday hardly needs introducing and I want to concentrate on one song in particular: “Strange Fruit” (click on link to see rare live performance). Her haunting voice sets the tone and serves as a powerful tool of protest and accusation.