Billie Holiday was born on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To celebrate her on the day of her birth, the song of the day for today is God Bless The Child.
About This Song
God Bless The Child was written in 1939 by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. Holiday recorded it on the Okey label in 1942. It’s been recorded by singers of jazz, blues, rock and popular music, including Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Frankie Laine, Stevie Wonder, Blood Sweat and Tears, Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, and DeeDee Bridgewater.
About This Version
Billie Holiday was one of the artists that the young Tony Bennett admired. In his autobiography, The Good Life, he writes about seeing her in the last part of the 1940s after returning from the war in Europe. In 1997, Tony Bennett released his tribute album to Billie, Bennett on Holiday. God Bless The Child is the last song on the album: it’s a well-crafted duet using Holiday’s original (I believe) recording with Bennett. The song was very well produced (by Phil Ramone) and recorded; the result sounds as natural as if they were in the studio together.
Happy birthday to Lady Day, one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. You’ll never be forgotten.
God Bless The Child, as well as the Bennett on Holiday album, is available from iTunes.
Here’s Billie singing They Can’t Take That Away From Me by George and Ira Gershwin.