The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45795   Message #677649
Posted By: Ron Olesko
27-Mar-02 - 05:15 PM
Thread Name: Best version of Strange Fruit
Subject: RE: BS: Best version of Strange Fruit
As much as I love Josh White, I have to give the nod to Billie Holiday's version. I have the opposite opinion of Bill Kennedy in regards to Holiday's performance - I think it is full of emotion and I don't get the feeling that she was detached at all. Her version is incredibly chilling and I can only imagine the effect it had on audiences at the time. While Josh White's is powerful, I don't think his performance was as subtle nor as moving - but it is still a powerful performance as well.

Realistically I do find it hard to compare. Both had their own unique style and it is really unfair to say one is better than the other.

It is also hard to call White's "definitive". More people have heard Holiday's version, so would you base definitive on mass reaction? I guess "definitive" depends on the audience you are sampling from.

One version I find very interesting is Karan Casey's. It was a unique choice for a singer that is know for her Irish roots. I think she did a superb job and gave it a different perspective.

Ron Olesko