Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald (1936 - 1945)

Russell Perry BY

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Billie Holiday began recording at 18, in a 1933 session with Benny Goodman and was musically active until her death at 44 in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald also began recording at 18 (in 1935 as the singer with Chick Webb), but in her case, her career surged again in the mid-1950's with the songbook series on Verve. They are perhaps the two most important female singers to come out of the Swing Era.

We are joined in this hour by Stephanie Nakasian—singer, recording artist, educator and professor of voice in the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia.


  • Host Intro 0:00
  • Chick Webb and His Orchestra "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" from Big Band: Vol. 038, Chick Webb (1937-38) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 3:41
  • Chick Webb and His Orchestra "Undecided" from Big Band: Vol. 039, Chick Webb (1938-39) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 6:18
  • Chick Webb and His Orchestra "Holiday In Harlem" from Big Band: Vol. 038, Chick Webb (1937-38) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 9:33
  • Host speaks 12:41
  • Chick Webb and His Orchestra "Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil" from Big Band: Vol. 039, Chick Webb (1938-39) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 14:19
  • Chick Webb and His Orchestra "You'll Have to Swing It ("Mr. Paganini")" from Big Band: Vol. 037, Chick Webb (1935-37) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 17:23
  • Host speaks 20:08
  • Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots "Cow Cow Boogie" from The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian) 22:44
  • Host speaks 25:38
  • Ella Fitzgerald "Flying Home" from Scat (PR1MO) 26:26
  • Host speaks 28:53
  • Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra "These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)" from The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian) 31:23
  • Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" from The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian) 34:39
  • Host speaks 38:05
  • Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra "I Must Have That Man" from The Billie Holiday Collection Volume 2 (Columbia) 40:14
  • Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra "Me, Myself, and I" from The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian) 43:08
  • Host speaks 45:45
  • Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra "A Sailboat in the Moonlight" from The Norton Jazz Recordings (Norton) 47:09
  • Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra "He's Funny That Way" from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (Smithsonian) 49:58
  • Host speaks 52:37
  • Billie Holiday -Milt Raskin duo "Strange Fruit" from The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian) 54:59
  • Host Outro 58:00

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