Book cover, 5.5k FINE AND MELLOW - The definitive discography of Billie Holiday
by: Jack Millar
publisher: The Billie Holiday Circle, England
ISBN number: 1-899161-00-7







WHAT THE INTRO READS:

PREAMBLE TO THE PREVIOUS EDITION

The publication of this discography of the recorded work of Billie Holiday, marks the 80th anniversary of her birth in the Philadelphia General Hospital, 34th and Pine Streets, Philadelphia, USA, at 2.30am. Wednesday the 7th April 1915. This information has been taken from two different versions of a birth certificate. Researched and found by two of her biographers, Donald Clark (Wishing On The Moon. Published by Viking 1994), and Stuart Nicholson (who's book is yet to be published by Gollanz) each made the discovery independently but at approximately the same time. Billie's recording career spanned just over 25 years, from 1933 to 1959. She died in the Metropolitan Hospital, New York City, at 3.10am Friday 17th July 1959, at the age of 44.

Listed here you will find full details of all known Billie Holiday recordings in chronological order. Commencing with her appearance as an extra, in the full length feature film 'Emperor Jones', made during August - September 1933 at the United Artists Film Studio, Astoria, Long Island, New York, up to her last known recording, made during April '59, that of a broadcast from George Wein's Storyville Club, Boston, Massachusetts, some three months before her death. You will also find information about possible sources of other recordings which may exist in some form or other. Note that the listing of titles in these cases, do not establish the fact that a recording exists, but that it is know those particular numbers were performed at the time. Where a recording is known to exist, but has not as yet been issued commercially, it is shown as 'unissued'.

As I have always considered a discography to be an on-going subject with a momentum of it's own, I have decided to make this edition loose leaf, rather than, as the last (Born To Sing), the very restricting normal book form. By having loose leaf one is able to withdraw or insert information at will and if this discography is placed in a file, it can be kept constantly up to date, rather than slowly fading into obscurity. Needless to say if you have anything to add, or can correct something in this discography, please write in to share the information with the rest of us. Should you have the time and the inclination, a careful check of the records in your collection, against the details listed here could produce a few surprises for both of us.

Thanks are due to the following for their unstinted help in producing this discography and without who's help it would not be as complete as it now stands, although I will be the fast to admit there is still much to be added.
Glenda Abdoo, Arne Astrup, Trevor Benwell, John Chilton, Reg Cooper, Dave Dixon, Jan Evensmo, Iwan Fresart, Oyvmd Edvard Fjellheim, Jim Lowe, Geoff Milne, Alan Newby, Tony Nishijima, Diethelm Paulussen, Harry Schroeder, Yasuo Segami, Bob Smith jr. Klaus Stratemann who all assisted with the previous (1979) edition, their information is of course incorporated in this present work.

To the many members of the BILLIE HOLIDAY CIRCLE who all gave so generously of their time and provided many details from their own private collections. Supplying photocopies of record sleeves and labels, cassette tape copies of rare items, in some cases even the records themselves and taking the time and trouble to answer my many devious questions.

In particular my thanks to:

Danny Apple (USA)Franco Bellacci (Italy)John Clark (England)Monteiro Costa (Portugal)
Gilbert Eriksson (Sweden)Michel Fontanes (France)Peter Foord (England)Olaf Heegard (Greenland)
Geoff Jones (England)Ted Lamas (USA)Alain Leray (France)Anthony Maguire (Ireland)
Lindsey Marshall (England)Klaus Mueller (Germany)Mogens Munter (Denmark)Peter Powell (England)
Gerry Pullum (England)Peter Richards (England)Murray Slochover (USA)Bob Weir (England)
David Stonard (England)Keith Wise (England)Hans Mittelberg (The Netherlands)
Silvester Vogelsang (The Netherlands)George Sinnema (The Netherlands)

 

Special thanks to Angela Ashworth for the enormous help she has given with the setting up and production of this book.

Jack Millar
Ramsgate
Kent, England

Without Jack, the Billie Holiday Circle, will no longer be able to update Billie's works. However, I am sure that someone, somewhere, is following on with his work and that they will continue to log all her recordings available world-wide and in many more new media, of which we can only dream. Virginia, Februari 2000.

 

 


TRIBUTE TO JACK MILLAR

Jack Millar, discographer and world expert on the life and recordings of Billie Holiday died peacefully in his sleep at his home after a short illness on 31st July 1999.

Jack, who was 71 years old, was born in Ramsgate and lived all his life in Thanet. Kent, England. He took a City and Guilds for TV and radio repairs and for over 40 years he ran a TV and Radio repair shop from the same premises in King Street, Ramsgate.

But something the majority of his customers did not know was of his interest, his commitment, to Billie Holiday. He often recalled the first time he heard Billie. It was in his adolescence when her voice first "sent shivers down my spine" and he was immediately attracted to her natural style. He began the Billie Holiday Circle in 1946 and published regular newsletters and updates to over 2,000 members throughout the world, from Japan to Iceland.
Jack Millar - Photo by Harold Chapman

Strangely, he never met Billie and only saw her perform once in London but it was a memory he held very dear. When he was asked why he never went back stage to meet her he shrugged his shoulders and replied "Why would she want to meet me?"

Well, Jack. She didn't know what she was missing, did she?

His first discography was published in 1951 in Bill Miller's Australian Jazz Quarterly, it took up almost the entire magazine, much to the annoyance of some readers.

He has published two discographies, Born to Sing and Fine and Mellow. Both were received throughout the world as a masterpiece of detailed research and information, and rarely has an artist been so scrutinised and catalogued. Jack was the world authority on Billie's life and works.

He was frequently consulted by the world's media such as the BBC. Authors, music publishers. CDs and record producers, journalists, researchers, and biographers would all have been the poorer without his help. Bob Weir of Jazz Journal wrote, "Jack Millar is probably the world's expert on Billie Holiday's career and recordings."

He recorded a programme on Radio Kent when he talked about jazz and Billie, and also appeared in a TV programme about his old radios and TVs. Jack was always kind and helpful to people and was a good friend to many. He will be remembered by many as a "gentleman". He was nonjudgmental. intelligent and forever curious about life and people.

He is irreplaceable and will be missed by friends and colleagues at The Billie Holiday Circle.

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