Today is the 100th birthday anniversary Billie Holiday

Happy belated birthday, Billie.

Fans in a Flashbulb

Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, NYC, 1949, (2007.90.65)

(c) Herman Leonard Photography, LLC

Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday was born on April 7, 1915 and died on July 17, 1959 in New York City.

Herman Leonard website.
Great Fansinaflashbulb post on Herman Leonard.
A week long centennial broadcast can be heard on WKCR, here.

From “Forget If You Can” (Len Joy, Kay Upham, Jack Manus) recorded by Billie Holiday on May 11, 1938:

Don’t you remember
All the silly things we used to do
The way we laughed
When we were photographed
As Handsome Hal and his tintype gal

The Teddy Wilson led recordings, starting in July 1935, continuing with the recordings made under Billie Holiday’s leadership, and, starting in 1937, all of the recordings with Lester Young, (including songs like “Twenty-Four Hours a Day,” “Eeny, Meeny, Miny…

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More Music History in photos… Acid House Ravers + More

Photos of very happy ravers during the Second Summer of Love (1988-1990), by David Swindells, via Mashable

Wonder if they knew how influential that music would be, or how much people that were too young to be there, wish they were older!

The photos led me to PYMCA (Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive)… I got lost there for a while. They’ve contributed all of the images in an exhibition named Breaking The Mould at The Southbank this weekend… I’ll be there.

Teds in Croydon copyright Chris Steele-Perkins

On  similar tip is a small exhibition in the Print Sales room at The Photographer’s Gallery, which includes Chris Steele-Perkins photo of Ted’s in Croydon…it’s also free. London’s kind to us.

Talking to Hark…

“When I started photographing the dubstep scene, you could smoke in clubs. We took that for granted. Smoking in clubs, I’m pretty sure affected the music in clubs and affected the way you’d experience it. Then the ban came in and then the scene changed in a way. Now you look back the pictures and you’re like, oh god people are smoking in doors. That’s a good example of the wider political changes you see in documentary photography. “

Here’s a recording of me chatting to Hark1aran about Photography, London, Music and more, in Crystal Palace’s Boyce Da Roca cafe.  Spot the Bohemian Rhapsody moment….


An Oral History of Plastic People, FACTMAG

Plastic Bar
Skream, Hija, Shona, Chef and others at Plastic People, bar area

7 of my photos of Plastic People, the club that I wrote about here a few weeks back have been published as part of FACTmag‘s Oral History of Plastic People, written by Tom Lea and Nick Wilson (aka Beatnick). Some of the photos had  never really been seen before, like the one above and the one of Skepta and Plastician . The feature tells the story of the club from the mouths of a handful of it’s resident DJ’s, staff and promoters including Erol Alkan (Trash), Seiji (Bugz In The Attic / Co-Op), Alexander Nut (Eglo), Jon Rust, Elijah Butterz and others. It’s pretty extensive and well worth a read. Also included are a couple of photos by Alex Nut, like this bizarre one of soulstress Fatima and a DJ with a cartoon snake wrapped around them. On an aside, congrats to on their slick new redesign! It’s lovely to see my name in the contributors list, alongside some great people. 🙂