Billie Holiday – Stormy Weather

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“Stormy Weather” is a 1933 song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem. It has since been covered by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound; but most famously by Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky” show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer; “stormy weather since my man and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time.”

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Billie is accompanied by

  • Joe Newman – trumpet
  • Paul Quinichette – tenor saxophone
  • Oscar Peterson – piano
  • Freddy Green – guitar
  • Ray Brown – bass
  • Gus Johnson – drums

Recorded in New York, July 27, 1952 (Clef Records)