Billie Holiday Sings “Strange Fruit”




Before the weekend slips away, we want to remember Billie Holiday who was born 98 years ago today. To this day, Holiday is widely considered the greatest jazz vocalist of all time, known for her distinctive phrasing and melancholy voice. Above, we bring you her performance of “Strange Fruit,” a song recorded in 1939 that protested the lynching of African Americans in the South. The composition introduced Holiday to a mainstream audience, giving her career a big break. Down the line, Holiday closed every concert with the song, which continually grew in cultural importance. By 1999, TIME called “Strange Fruit” the song of the century, solidifying its place in the American songbook.

If you would like to get Open Culture post’s via email, please sign up for our free email newsletter here.

And if you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!


by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Quantcast
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.