Books: A Right to Sing the Blues

LADY SINGS THE BLUES (250 pp.)−Billie Holiday with William Duffy−Doubleday ($3.75).

"Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen, and I was three." With this beginning, Billie Holiday, a singer who broke the hearts of a generation of jazz lovers, sets out to reveal what lies behind the blues−or at least her blues. Before she is through, she has lined out some bitter truths about being a Negro in the U.S. and some that are not too sweet about being a narcotics addict.

Billie Holiday was a "hip kitty," so she says,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!