Billie Holiday

Happy Billie

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Billie Holiday is known for the depth of feeling in her singing, especially as it relates to melancholy and despair. Such a landmark vocalist can't be pigeonholed so easily, of course, and her upbeat material was similarly excellent. The Saga label's collection, simply titled Happy Billie (which is only slightly better than Happy Holiday), presents 24 of Holiday's more joyous performances, of which there are plenty to choose from, many among her most popular songs. The singer sounds positively ebullient on her 1939 performance of "Them There Eyes," as well as "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and her Bessie Smith tribute, "Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)." The notoriously coarse Holiday was also a splendid ballads singer, illustrated here by a pair of classics, "The Very Thought of You" and "Tenderly." As only one glimpse of the complete picture of Billie Holiday's talent, Happy Billie isn't a good stand-alone collection, but when paired with Saga's companion volume, Blue Billie, it forms a much better look at one of the best singers in American history.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:45
2 3:09
3
feat: Teddy Wilson
2:54
4 3:04
5 2:36
6
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:09
7 2:57
8 2:59
9 2:42
10 2:37
11 2:57
12 2:53
13 2:31
14 3:05
15
feat: Teddy Wilson
2:49
16
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:00
17 2:47
18 3:22
19 3:05
20
feat: Bob Haggart
3:16
21
feat: Sy Oliver
2:46
22 2:58
23 2:58
24 3:28
blue highlight denotes track pick