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© Bob Willoughby, 1952
Billie Holiday on stage at the Tiffany, and (center) her apartment, Los Angeles, 1952
“Los Angeles in the early 50’s had a sprinkling of small jazz clubs scattered throughout the area. The Tiffany was typical of those rather smoky joints. Billie Holiday was the magnet that drew me there. The other nice dividend was that Wardell Gray and his group were on the same bill. The combination was really symbiotic, for Billie’s plaintive and wistful songs, with a few drinks could make anyone melancholy. Wardell and his music blew a fresh wind into the Tiffany, dispersing the stale tobacco smells, and spilled booze, clearing the air for Billie’s textured voice singing of lost love and regrets. Glowing in the spotlight, she took your heart and wrung it out. We met backstage, and she surprised me when she invited me back to her apartment to take more photographs (some in her favorite hats). She made tea for us, and the memory of those moments with Lady Day are a treasure I hold to this day.” -- Bob Willoughby
Photography by Bob Willoughby
Special edition of 10. Triptrych series produced by Arthouse 18.
Size 12 3/4" x 35 7/8"