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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jim Ward Obit: Artie Shaw (December, 2004, Age 93) (21) RE: Obit: Artie Shaw 02 Jan 05

Flash Company says Artie Shaw let Billie Holiday sing "Strange Fruit" with his band. Well he didn't. It is well recorded that the writer, poet Lewis Allen, met Billie when she was singing at New York's Cafe Society in 1939 just after she had left the Shaw band. He asked her to feature his poem as a song at the club which she did with great success. Her recording of the song was made with Frankie Newton's Cafe Society Band and issued on Milt Gabler's Commmodore Music Shop label. Columbia, her own recording company, wouldn't touch it. Artie and Billie were contracted to different recording companies so Billie Holiday recorded only one title with Artie Shaw, "Any Old Time", and that was withdrawn shortly after release.
    It is also on record that the first instrument Artie played was the Ukelele Banjo! He also studied classical guitar and clarinet and guested at Carnegie Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra an 1949.

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