Billie Holiday

This Song: Alessia Cara // OSHUN

This episode of ‘This Song” is all about inspiring women who just happen to be young.

Alessia Cara is a Canadian singer and songwriter who’s song “Here” hit #1 on the Hot R&B charts. She’s also 19 years old.  Hear Alessia Cara chat with KUTX DJ and Producer Taylor Wallace about how she’s inspired by the music of Amy Winehouse  and Drake and what her current creative life is like.

Then listen as  Thandiwe and Niambi Sala of the New York based hip hop duo OSHUN, both of whom are still in college, explain how songs by Outkast and Billie Holiday  helped them realize what it was they wanted to do with their own music.

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Watch Alessia Cara perform “Here” on solo on VuHaus

Watch OSHUN’s Studio 1A Performance

Download OSHUN’s Mixtape Asase Yaa

Listen to OSHUN on Soundcloud

Watch the video for OSHUN “Protect Your Self”

Listen to the songs featured in Episode 38 of This Song.

Herbie Nichols (1.3.16)

In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the life and legacy of Herbie Nichols.

Strange Fruit (4.19.15)

“Strange Fruit” is a song, made famous by Billie Holiday, who would often sing it to close her shows when she would perform, discouraging applause from the audience when she sang it. Holiday had a difficult time recording the song, but upon the urging of her friends at Commodore Records, she recorded it for the first time on April 20th, 1939. She was harassed by the FBI and other authorities for singing it, but refused to stop.

Originally written as a poem in 1937 by Abel Meeropol, to protest against American racism and the lynching of African Americans in the south just after the turn of the century, it remains a stark reminder of America’s scars of slavery, bigotry, discrimination, and hatred.

Holiday’s legacy is directly connected to “Strange Fruit”, and Nina Simone said of the song, that it was about the ugliest song she had ever heard, and would later marvel. “Ugly in the sense that it is violent and tears at the guts of what white people have done to my people in this country.”

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about what the lamentation of “Strange Fruit” can teach us today, about injustice, humanity,  protest, and peace.



V&B: Billie Holiday and The Art of Persona

Billie Holiday once said, “No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.” In a recent Views and Brews from KUT radio recorded live at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas we explored just that with Billie Holiday and the Art of Persona.

Listen in as KUT’s Rebecca McInroy hosts Rabbi Neil Blumofe along with a live band including, Brannen Temple on drums, Sam Lipman with Saxophone, Daniel Durham on bass, Ephraim Owens on trumpet, Wiliam Menefield on piano and the vocal talents of Austin’s own Pamela Hart, for an hour of conversation, exploration and great music!