Strange Fruit; Fine and Mellow

Strange Fruit; Fine and Mellow

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Description (Brief)

Billy Holiday and her Orchestra. side 1: Strange Fruit; side 2: Fine and Mellow (Commodore 526)
78 rpm

Billie Holiday (1915–1959,) an African American jazz singer nicknamed Lady Day, emerged on the jazz scene after a difficult and impoverished upbringing. Known for her light, rhythmic singing, Holiday performed with some of the most famous American jazz musicians throughout the 1930s and 1940s. She first performed “Strange Fruit,” a song written by a Jewish poet about the lynching of African Americans, at the Café Society club in 1939. Her performances of the song were filled with emotion, and the recording reached number 16 on the charts. Holiday went on to release a number of other hits, but “Strange Fruit” remained the best-selling record of her career.

Currently not on view
Object Name
sound recording
recording date
recording artist
Billie Holiday and her Orchestra
Allan, Lewis
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
shellac (overall material)
overall: 10 in; x 25.4 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
label number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert B. Campbell in memory of Dorothy and William Campbell
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Music & Musical Instruments
1939 exhibit
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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