Billie Holiday and Helen Merrill


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Tessa Souter, whose singing voice I love (go here), sent along a lovely email the other day. Tessa knows I've interviewed Helen Merrill at length (start here) and wanted me to hear something. It was a link to a tape of Helen and Billie Holiday singing You Go to My Head at producer-writer Leonard Feather's apartment in New York in November 1956. This is right around the time of Holiday's Carnegie Hall concert with Chico Hamilton, and months earlier Helen had recorded Dream of You with Gil Evans, one of my favorite vocal albums of the 1950s. This seven-minute-plus audio clip is a fabulous peak into a scene nearly 60 years ago at a party late at night, when two great stylists were getting loose and having fun. Here's You Go to My Head...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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