Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song

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9780060959562: Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song

Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, "Strange Fruit" is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first direct musical assault upon racial lynchings in the South. Originally sung in New York's Cafe Society, these revolutionary lyrics take on a life of their own in this revealing account of the song and the struggle it personified. Strange Fruit not only chronicles the civil rights movement from the '30s on, it examines the lives of the beleaguered Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the white Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who wrote the song that would have an impact on generations of fans, black and white, unknown and famous, including performers Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, and Sting.

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About the Author:

David Margolick is a contributor to Vanity Fair and the former National Legal Affairs Editor for the New York Times. A four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, he is the author of Undue Influence and At the Bar. He lives in New York City.

Review:

"Show-stopper. To hear Billie holiday sing 'Strange Fruit' was to be forever haunted. Like Holiday's performance, Margolick's book is understated but intense, suffused with grace, power and dignity. It works on several levels: as tribute, elegy, homage andcultural history."--"New York Times Book Review"Margolick recreates the tense web of bitterness, guilt, denial and anger that surrounds Holiday's charged performances of 'Strange Fruit.' With thorough research and the smooth writing of a journalist, Margolick has produced a superb piece of cultural history."--"Publishers Weekly"["Strange Fruit], written by an outstanding journalist, David Margolick (New York Times; Vanity Fair), is a fast and fascinating read. It is written with great sincerity and dedication. This book will evoke stirring images of Ms. Holiday and the emerging jazz scene. It will also provide another link showing how modern jazz emerged in tandem with the Civil Rights movement, and how music can be a powerful political statement."--"allaboutjazz.com"With reportorial finesse, Margolick also restores 'Strange Fruit' to its deserved stature in the public consciousness as a piece of shocking reportage--a dispatch from battlesfields where the price of racism and ignorance was tallied in blood."--"Boston Globe"Margolick has nonetheless performed a valuable service: by illuminating the importance of this one song, he has captured an era in microcosm."--"The Providence Sunday Journal"For jazz buffs and anyone interested in popular culture, this slender book by Margolick offers several surprises and revelatons within its pages...This is indeed a job well done."--"Book Page"Strange Fruit explores how just 12 lines of lyrics andan unobtrusive score captivated nightclub audiences, terrified promoters and radio stations, and inspired activists in the 1940s...The effect of Margolick's storytelling technique is nearly as powerful as the song itself, employing the veneer of art to convey a very harsh reality."--"Baltimore City Paper"David Margolick's brief account of how 'Strange Fruit' came to be written and first performed is timely and illuminating."--"Ottawa Citizen"David Margolick takes us back to that time and makes a persuasive case for the importance of that performance--not just musically but socially as well. Small though it is, "Strange Fruit is an outsized piece of reporting and a satisfying work of history."--"Legal Times"The biography of a song is an intriguing project, and David Margolick carries it off, fitting great masses of musical and social history into a tiny volume."--"City Paper"Margolick presents a quick, fluent survey of the times and characters that formed 'Strange Fruit'--a song that inspired and enraged many listeners int hsoe days before the Civil Rights movement and changed Holiday as a performer."--"Library Journal"Margolick does an admirable job of disentagling the myths Holiday wove about herself."--"National Review"Strange Fruit sets the record straight with some fascinating background to go along with it...it is a quick read of a story that has to be told.--"Billboard"David Margolick offers an absorbing history and analysis of the song."--"Sunday Sun, Toronto"David Margolick's exceptional book, "Strange Fruit, is a biography of an extraordinary work, the singer who made it famous and its sustaining impact as one of the great protest songs of the 20th Century."--"MiamiHerald"Margolick has actually created a snapshot of a particular moment in time when jazz, social discontent, and fashionable liberalism came memorably together."--"Sunday Record

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 201 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, -Strange Fruit- is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first direct musical assault upon racial lynchings in the South. Originally sung in New York s Cafe Society, these revolutionary lyrics take on a life of their own in this revealing account of the song and the struggle it personified. Strange Fruit not only chronicles the civil rights movement from the 30s on, it examines the lives of the beleaguered Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the white Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who wrote the song that would have an impact on generations of fans, black and white, unknown and famous, including performers Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, and Sting. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060959562

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 201 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, -Strange Fruit- is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first direct musical assault upon racial lynchings in the South. Originally sung in New York s Cafe Society, these revolutionary lyrics take on a life of their own in this revealing account of the song and the struggle it personified. Strange Fruit not only chronicles the civil rights movement from the 30s on, it examines the lives of the beleaguered Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the white Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who wrote the song that would have an impact on generations of fans, black and white, unknown and famous, including performers Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, and Sting. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060959562

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Book Description Softcover. Book Condition: New. Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, "Strange Fruit" is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first direct musical assault upon racial lynchings in the South. Originally sung in New York's Cafe Society, these revolutionary lyrics take on a life of their own in this revealing account of the song and the struggle it personified.Strange Fruit not only chronicles the civil rights movement from the '30s on, it examines the lives of the beleaguered Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the white Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who wrote the song that would have an impact on generations of fans, black and white, unknown and famous, including performers Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, and Sting. Bookseller Inventory # 9029675

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