1947 sessions


Session #58 New York 13/February/1947 Bob Haggart and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.1, tk 25-26 and Complete Decca vol.2, tk 1 & 3)
Billy Butterfield (tp) Bill Stegmeyer (as) (cl) Toots Mondello, Al Klink (as) Hank Ross, Art Drellinger (ts) Bobby Tucker (p) Bob Haggart (b) Norris ‘Bunny’ Shawker (d) Billie Holiday (v)

This session’s arrangements are by Haggart; the slow tempi in all tracks are generally attributed to Billie problems with drug abuse.

(MT 192) Deep Song * in an interview to The Voice of America in 1956 Billie said this was one of her favorite songs that unfortunately made no success at all. This was her sole recording ever.

The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

(MT 193) There Is No Greater Love *
(MT 193a) There Is No Greater Love (alternate take)

The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

(MT 194) Easy Living ** Billie’s voice in its best shape. It’s a pleasure to listen. The first recording was in 1937 (s.MT #61).

The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

(MT 195) Solitude * the second recording, being first in 1941 (s. MT #151); however, I prefer the instrumental renderings of this song, specially those with the composer, Duke Ellington. There will be a third, and better, recording in 1952 (s. MT#226).
(MT 195a) Solitude (alternate take)

The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

A few weeks later, Joe Glaser, her manager, arranged for her to enter a clinic in New York for a session of detoxification. She would stay there for three weeks, passing there her 32nd birthday. However, she would resume using drugs in the following weeks.

Under investigation by the narcotics agency, she was charged and sentenced to a year in the Federal Reformatory for Women at Alderson, West Virginia in May 28th, 1947. Billie would stay 22 months out of any studio recordings. She got addicted in the early forties smoking opium and evolved to heroin through her husband Jimmy Monroe and her current boyfriend Joe Guy. For this reason Billie lost forever her cabaret card, without what she could not work in any jazz club in New York. This was a tremendous setback in her career.


Live session #21 [radio broadcast] New York 13/January/1947  Arthur Godfrey Show
Bobby Tucker (p), Billie Holiday (v) (CD: box Perfect Complete Collection vol.2 or BH at Stratford ’57 or Masters of Jazz vol.3)

“Arthur Godfrey Time” Show, broadcast via CBS. Billie was also interviewed in the program.

(LR 40) The Man I Love *  

Original LP Totem 1037 On the Air side 1 (US 1981). Click here to listen


47-01-13_arthur godfrey showArthur Godfrey (1903 –1983) was an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer. Born in New York, he joined CBS in 1945 were he was given his own daily program, Arthur Godfrey Time, a Monday-Friday morning radio show. In the picture, Billie receive the Esquire award, together with Teddy Wilson.


Live session #22 [live recording] New York 8/February/1947 Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra (CD: Perfect Complete Collection vol.2 tk 42 or BH at Stratford ’57 or Lady Day Live)

Louis Armstrong, Thomas Grinder, Chiefy Scott, Ed Mullins, Bob Butler (tp) Russell Moore, Alton Moore, James Whitney(tb) Arthur Dennis, Amos Gordon(as) Joe Garland, Lucky Thompson(ts) John Sparrow(bs) Earl Mason(p) Elmer Warner(g) Arvell Shaw(b) Sid Catlett(d) Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday (v)

(LR 41) Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans ** Armstrong sings the first and second chorus, and Billie takes over with perfection, to audience’s delight.  A rare, and delicious, duet in her discography.

Original 78rpm V-Disc 760 A (US 1947). Click here to listen.

Only Bobby Tucker (p) and Billie Holiday (v)

(LR 42) Don’t Explain **  She introduces the song herself: “thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, and now I’d like to sing a song, that I wrote, its title is Don’t Explain”. A beautiful rendering backed only by Tucker’s piano.

Original 78rpm V-Disc 771 B (US 1947). Click here to listen.

47-02-08_carnegiehall_armstrong@Billie appears as an unexpected guest at Louis Armstrong’s Carnegie Hall Concert to fill the gap caused by Earl Hines, tied up in Nashville by bad weather. The audience seems to like her singing.

Live Session #23 [live recording] New York, 24/May/1947  Jazz At The Philharmonic
Bobby Tucker (p) Billie Holiday (v) (CD: Tracks  in the box Perfect Complete Collection vol.2 or The Complete BH on Verve vol.1)

48-03-27_carnegiehall_solo@Carnegie Hall Concert

(LR 43) You Better Go Now *1/2
(LR 44) You’re Driving Me Crazy
(LR 45) There Is No Greater Love *
(LR 46) I Cover The Waterfront  *

Original LP Verve OOMJ 3480 Billie Holiday on Verve 1946-1959 vol.9 (Japan 1985). No sound available.


© www.billieholidaysongs.com February 2017

5 thoughts on “1947 sessions

  1. The live version of There Is No Greater Love is very beautiful, and very moving given that she would go to jail four days later. The audience loves her.

  2. First: Thank you for all the wonderful info in your site.
    Second: Reading the credits on “Complete Original American Decca Recordings” it’s supposed to be a guitar player on the 1947 sessions. Name “Dan Perry”. Is clearly audible on “Easy Living” (from 1:00 to 1:10 aprox.), not so on the other four tracks, perhaps hidden in the rhythm base.
    Third: Thank you again.

  3. What’s up,I read your new stuff named “1947 sessions | Billie Holiday Songs” regularly.Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about تحميل اغانى.

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