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Billie Holiday and Jack Parnell & His Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall - February 1954 002

Billie Holiday and Jack Parnell & His Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall - February 1954 002

Inside front cover and page 1 of a programme for a performance by Billie Holiday and Jack Parnell, at the Royal Albert Hall, February 14th, 1954. A biography of Holiday's musical career features on page 1, with an advert for the NME on the inside cover.

Image Details

Catalogue Reference Number NJA/PRO/36
Creator Mike Butcher
Date Made 1954
Item Format Programme
Title or Caption Billie Hits the Come-Back Trail
Event Date February 14th 1954

This text has been generated by computer from the image and may contain typographical and/or grammatical errors.

For the best pictures and review of to-night s concert, obtain the next issue
Britain’s Foremost Jazz and Popular Music Publication
(of the New Musical Express)
It is with great pride and pleasure that we present Miss Billie Holiday, “the world’s greatest jazz singer” according to the consensus of critical opinion, for the first time in London at the Royal Albert Hall this evening.
Born in Baltimore on April 7, 1915, Miss Holiday has become a well-known, almost legendary figure to jazz enthusiasts all over the world. Among other distinctions, she has won the gold medal presented to the “Singer of the Year” by Esquire magazine, and was elected “The Greatest Jazz Singer of All Time” in a poll run by Metronome, America’s foremost musical monthly journal.
Billie’s childhood was spent in such abject poverty that she was sent out to scrub steps at the age of eleven. Only thus could she and her mother keep a roof over their heads and a hare minimum of food in the larder.
One day in 1929, little Miss Holiday applied for work in the kitchen of a non-luxurious night club. Through a lucky stroke of fate the proprietor heard her singing “Trav’lin’ All Alone” to herself as she dried the dishes. That same evening the floor-show had an added attraction, and the culinary staff lost a reluctant hand.
Billie made her fir6t discs in 1934, at a Columbia date directed by Benny Goodman. Further record sessions followed quickly, some under Billie’s own name, others under the leadership of pianist Teddy Wilson, whom the NME presented in Britain last autumn.
A tour with Count Basie and his Orchestra, and another with Artie Shaw, and one would have thought that Billie’s troubles were over. She was well known and well liked enough to command top money as a solo artist, and in 1946 she was given an important singing and acting role in the Louis Armstrong movie, “New Orleans”.
I" the summer of 1948 she appeared for six weeks at the Strand Iheatre on Broadway, drawing the largest crowds that this establishment c'li- hn°wn in years. Last winter she stopped the show at the Duke Ellington Silver Jubilee Concert, held at New York’s world-renowned Carnegie Hall.
Billie has recorded as regularly, and as successfully, as ever in recent times. Her very latest waxings are not yet available in Great Britain, but many of the songs that she will interpret to-night may be obtained here on the Brunswick label. Full details can be gleaned from the Brunswick catalogue, available at all important record stores.
During the past few weeks, Billie has been appearing with great success on the continent with Leonard Feather’s “Jazz Club, USA” show. Among the countries she visited were Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium and Holland.