Win A Free Record: Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall

Okay, it is time for our next Jazz Collector free collectible give-away contest. We always try to find interesting items for you, and this time we are offering up this: The Essential Billie Holiday Carnegie Hall Concert, Verve 8410. This is an original pressing with the MGM label and the gatefold cover. The record is in nice condition, although there are some marks at the end of side two. It’s an interesting record in that it was recorded in 1956 and issued here in 1961 as part of Verve’s Essentials series, which were tributes to jazz greats on the Verve labels, several of whom, unfortunately, had died. These included Lester Young and Charlie Parker. This LP was recorded live at Carnegie Hall as part of a concert in which Holiday sang and in which she also  had several sections of her autobiography, Lady Sings The Blues, read aloud to highlight various aspects of her life and to

serve as introductions to some of the songs. The readings were performed by Gilbert Millstein, who was a writer for The New York Times and who also contributed liner notes to this record.  In addition to Millstein’s notes and commentary, there is also an essay by Nat Hentoff. Here’s an excerpt: “The audience was hers from before she sang, greeting her and saying good-bye with heavy, loving applause. And at one time, the musicians too applauded. It was a night when Billie was on top, undeniably the best and most honest jazz singer alive.”

As a great recording, as well as a piece of jazz history, this is quite a nice package. It also features Roy Eldridge and Buck Clayton on trumpets; Coleman Hawkins, Al Cohn and Tony Scott on reeds; Carl Drinkard on piano; Carson Smith on bass; Chico Hamilton on drums; Kenny Burrell on guitar. The tracks are: Lady Sings the Blues; Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do; Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone; I’ll Be Seeing You; I Love My Man; Body and Soul; Don’t Explain; Yesterdays; My Man; I Cried For You; Fine and Mellow; I Cover the Waterfront; What A Little Moonlight Can Do.

As always, we have one copy of this record to give away to one fortunate reader of Jazz Collector. To be eligible to win the record, all you have to do is comment on the Jazz Collector site — anywhere on the site — between now and Monday Oct. 12, when the contest ends. At that point all of the eligible names will be placed into a hat, or something like a hat, and the lovely Mrs. Jazz Collector will choose, at random, the winning name. As always, we even pay for the shipping, so it is truly a free collectible, as our previous winners will all attest. So please, begin commenting on the site and we hope to have our greatest contest yet.


  • I dont think I’ve heard much from this session-and the cover image is striking-so…I’m in. On a related note,one of the most striking commercials on TV in recent weeks is that for Chanel No.5,featuring “I’m A Fool To Want You”,sung briefly-and brilliantly-by one Billie Holiday. Her voice is so personal and unique in any circumstance,all the more so when heard in stark contrast to todays commercial wasteland.

  • Pingback: Free Jazz Vinyl: Billie Holiday on Verve |

  • I have a Billie Holiday collection that I’m trying to sale. They are in the original jackets and they are 78’s. I believe each one contain at least 3 albums in each. I’m willing to sell! Can you help me?

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