1949 sessions

(A) STUDIO SESSIONS


She was arrested again for narcotics possession and went to trial in San Francisco, in June 1st. This time she was acquitted, telling a story that that the drugs belonged to her boyfriend, John Levy.


Session #60 New York 17/August/1949 Buster Harding and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.2, tk 10 & 11)
Jimmy Nottingham, Buck Clayton, Emmett Berry (tp) Dickie Wells, George Matthews (tb) Rudy Powell George Dorsey (as) Lester Young, Joe Thomas (ts) Sol Moore (bs) Horace Henderson (p) Mundell Lowe (g) George Duvivier (b) Shadow Wilson (d) Billie Holiday (v)

What a difference form preceding session, that intimate and this with a full orchestra. Billie may here remember her crooner times. However, her old friends Buck Clayton and Lester Young are present. Gabler is the producer.

(MT 200) Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do – the orchestra arrangement is a bit too noisy. The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

(MT 201) Baby Get Lost – besides the noise, the song also doesn’t help. “Down Beat” magazine would criticize: “the song and the band have no finesse”.


Session #61 New York 29/August/1949 Sy Oliver and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.2, tk 12 & 13)
Bernie Privin, Tony Faso, Dick Vance (tp), Henderson Chambers, Morty Bullman (tb), George Dorsey, Johnny Mince (as), Budd Johnson, Fred Williams (ts), Eddy Barefield (cl)(bs), Horace Henderson (p), Everett Barksdale (g), George Duvivier (b), Cozy Cole (d) Billie Holiday (v)

The over arrangement continues, now under Sy Oliver

(MT 202) Keeps’ On A Raining

(MT 203) Them There Eyes – this is the second recording of this song (see MT #123); I don’t like them both.


Session #62 New York 08/September/1949 Sy Oliver and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.2, tk 14 & 15)
Shad Collins, Buck Clayton, Bob Williams (tp), George Stevenson, Henderson Chambers (tb), George Dorsey, Peter Clark (as), Budd Johnson, Fred Williams (ts), Dave McRea (bs), Horace Henderson (p), Everett Barksdale (g), Joe Benjamin (b), Wallace Bishop (d) Billie Holiday (v)

Same from preceding session, with disposable songs.

(MT 204) Do Your Duty

(MT 205) Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer – a curiosity in this song is that Billie seems to scat. Fortunately that’s not true, she’s simply following the lyrics.

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

  • Both tracks would be part of a planned album in honor of Bessie Smith, but the project didn’t take off.

Session #63 New York 30/September/1949 Sy Oliver and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.2, tk 16-18)
Bernie Privin (tp), Sid Cooper, Johnny Mince (as), Artie Drellinger, Pat Nizza (ts), Billy Kyle (p), Everett Barksdale(g), Joe Benjamin (b), Jimmy Crawford (d), Sy Oliver (arr, cond), Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong (v)

49-09-30_s63_armstrong@Third time in a row with Sy Oliver Orchestra. There’s however something peculiar in the session: Louis Armstrong’s duet with Billie. Similar partnership would turn famous in the mid-fifties with Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

 

 

(MT 206) You Can’t Lose A Broken Heart * a star to the partnership.

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

(MT 207) My Sweet Hunk O’Trash – this session is famous because one can hear in the background Armstrong saying to Billie: “Fuck’em, Baby!”

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

 

Without Armstrong:

(MT 208) Now or Never – nice tempo, with the band rehearsing a jam session. This is a Billie’s song written with Curtis Lewis.

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

Generally Billie’s fans think these two duet songs with Armstrong were recorded in their collaboration at the New Orleans film, what is not the case; in there, only Louis Armstrong band was present.


Session #64 New York 19/October/1949 Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra (CD: Complete Decca vol.2, tk 19-22)
Bobby Hackett (tp) Milt Yaner (cl) (as) John Fulton (fl) (cl) (ts) Bernie Leighton (p) Tony Mottola (g) Jack Lesberg (b) Norris ‘Bunny’ Shawker (d) Billie Holiday (v) + 5 strings

Gordon Jerkins brings the strings back in a pop arrangement. Gabler still the producer.

(MT 209) You’re My Thrill – Billie, years later, declared to the Voice of America that she had enjoyed this song a lot, but it made no success at all (frankly, I didn’t like either). The image below is from the original 78rpm disk. Click here to listen.

(MT 210) Crazy He Calls Me * nice standard by Carl Sigman, lyrics by Bob Russell. Billie is in very good shape, but the arrangement is heavy.

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

(MT 211) Please Tell Me Now * a nice ballad that Billie would record only once.

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

(MT 212) Somebody’s On My Mind * one more partnership by Billie & Herzog. Reports “Down Beat” magazine, referring to the last two sides, (both issued together in the 78rpm Decca #24857): “Billie does a better singing than the last records, less dragging and less milking”.

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

 


(B) LIVE RECORDINGS

Live session #27 [TV broadcast] New York 27/August/1949  Eddie Condon and His Band (CD: Perfect Complete Collection vol.3)
Oran “Hot Lips” Page (tp), Horace Henderson (p), Jack Lesberg (b), George Wettling (d), Billie Holiday (v)

Eddie Condon Floor Show, NBC TV Program

(LR 60) Keeps On A Rainin’ *

Original LP FDC 1014 Condon´s Floor Show (US 1975). Sound not available.


z_Eddie_CondonEddie Condon (1904-1973) was a jazz guitarist, being one of the first musicians to appear on television. Later he joined NBC where he presented, in the late 40s, one of the earliest television series, the Eddie Condon Floor Show. For more then 20 years, starting in 1945, he also ran his own nightclub in the Greenwich Village, the Howdy Club.

 


Live session #28 [TV broadcast] New York  3/September/1949 Eddie Condon and His Band (CD: Perfect Complete Collection vol.3)
Horace Henderson (p), Eddie Condon (g), Peanuts Hucko (cl), Jack Lesberg (b), George Wettling (d), Billie Holiday (v)

Eddie Condon Floor Show, NBC TV Program

(LR 61) Fine And Mellow (w/ introduction)
(LR 62) Porgy (w/ introduction)
(LR 63) Billie’s Blues (I Love My Man) ** (w/ introduction)

Original LP Queen Disc 011 Louis Armstrong At The Eddie Condon Floor Show: Volume 2 (Italy 1949). Sound not available.


Live session #29 [TV broadcast] New York 10/September/1949 (CD: Perfect Complete Collection vol.3)
Oran “Hot Lips” Page (tp), Horace Henderson (p), Unknown (b),(d) & (g), Billie Holiday (v)

Art Ford Show, television broadcast

(LR 64) Them There Eyes
(LR 65) Detour Ahead

Original LP Continental 211 The Real Lady Day Sings The Blues (US 1956). Sound not available.

(LR 66) I Cover The Waterfront
(LR 67) All Of Me 

Original LP ESP-3002 The Lady Lives (US 1972). Sound not available.

 

© www.billieholidaysongs.com February 2017

9 thoughts on “1949 sessions

  1. Live Session #26 [radio broadcast]: (see note at session #8) — Should be: (see note at live session #24)

  2. Sorry, once more
    Live Session #26 [radio broadcast]: (see note at session #8) — Should be: (see note at live session #24) — Actually it is the live session after #24, but it has no number.

    • Dear Tom,
      thanks for your comments, it looks like you read the site carefully. Let me answer your questions:
      Billy Berg was the owner of the Trouville Club, where some Live Sessions took place. They are:
      1. Live Session #8 in 1942. In that session, I included a note telling the story on how Mr. Berg got involved with Norman Granz (that´s why I made the note at Session #26).
      2. Live Session #26 in 1949
      There is in the site a third mention of Billy Berg, in a session listed in 1948. Actually, it is just a comment, because I only numbered the “Sessions” where there are taped recordings available, what was not the case of that session.
      There are no mention to Mr. Berg at Live Sessions #27 and #24.
      I took the opportunity you offered me and made some remarks on the text to make it clearer. Hope that it answer your comments.
      Thanks, and enjoy.
      Paulo

  3. Gabler denied that the Bessie Smith tracks were intended for a tribute album (see Chris Ingham, Billie Holiday, p.85)

    • You are right, Gabler denied it. But she recorded four tunes from BS’s songbook for Decca, and she was one of her greatest influences. Could be, why not?
      Paulo

  4. “Maybe You’ll Be There” is by far one of my favorite live recording done by Billie. It’s such a rare song for her to sing, it’s a shame she never recorded it in the studio. Simply beautiful.

    • Dear Nigel,

      I fully agree. It is also one of my favorites.
      All the best,
      paulohttp://www.billieholidaysongs.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form

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