WKCR announces a 48-hour birthday celebration for Billie Holiday, broadcast on FM and HD radio and online all day on Thursday, April 6th and Friday April 7th, 2023. The special broadcast will run from the middle of Som do Brasil until the middle of The Mambo Machine. The broadcast will preempt all regularly-scheduled Thursday and Friday shows.
Billie Holiday (April 7th 1915 - July 17th, 1959) was an American singer whose career spanned almost three decades, from her first record in 1933 to her final one in 1959. ‘Lady Day’, as nicknamed by her longtime friend and musical collaborator Lester Young, was one of the most influential, if not the most influential, singers of her time and her music remains a staple of any collection. Quoted as saying “If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all”, Billie’s enchanting, sinuous sense of rhythm and raspy voice defied the norm of singers at the time and enchanted listeners all over the world. One of the most distinct voices within Black American Music, Billie Holiday became known not only for her technical command, but for the casual poignancy with which she imbued every note. Throughout her career, she was a political activist, using her platform to speak out against racial inequality and injustice, most famously through her performances of “Strange Fruit”. Her legacy continues to live on through her music, solidifying her place as one of the greatest artists of all time.
As part of a yearly tradition, our broadcast will feature both Holiday’s classics and lesser-known works, as well as special broadcasts and recordings from WKCR’s archive. A programming schedule for the special broadcast is forthcoming. Follow WKCR on Instagram (@wkcr) and Twitter (@WKCRFM) for further updates.