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Origin of Strange Fruit??

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STRANGE FRUIT


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GUEST,Jack 10 May 02 - 09:18 PM
masato sakurai 10 May 02 - 09:28 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 May 02 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Jack 10 May 02 - 09:45 PM
Deckman 10 May 02 - 10:10 PM
Janice in NJ 10 May 02 - 10:11 PM
Deckman 10 May 02 - 11:18 PM
michaelr 11 May 02 - 03:39 PM
Genie 12 May 02 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,skelly 15 May 02 - 03:50 PM
bill kennedy 15 May 02 - 03:57 PM
wysiwyg 16 May 02 - 08:49 AM
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Subject: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:18 PM

Anyone know the origin of a song named "Strange Fruit"?

Billy Holiday did it but I was wondering if there are other versions..From CNN..."The exhibit also includes the sheet music to "Strange Fruit," written in the 1930s by a Jewish schoolteacher in New York. It remains one of the world's most recognizable anti-lynching statements."

Here's a link to the lyrics..

http://www.xs4all.nl/~ace/Literaria/Song-Holiday.html

Thansk for any help

Jack


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:28 PM

From book review of Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society and an Early Cry for Civil Rights by Vic Schermer (Click here).

This is a book about a song. The song is "Strange Fruit," with a haunting melody and an earth shattering lyric about the abhorrent and horribly common Southern lynchings of African Americans which stand as an ugly symbol of race hatred however and wherever it may occur. The song, utterly powerful and totally different from jazz as a form of "entertainment," became one of the "signature" tunes of Billie Holiday, so much so that many, including the present writer, mistakenly believed that she wrote it, a belief she herself engendered. She first sung "Strange Fruit" in 1939 at The Cafe Society, a trendy yet iconoclastic Greenwich Village club frequented by left-wingers and entertainers and which was one of the first nightclubs to welcome African Americans. Indeed, blacks were treated with special favor and respect at the club, which was owned by a white "left-winger" named Barney Josephson. The club became one of Billie's regular venues from the late thirties through the 1950s.

The song's actual composer was Abel Meeropol (pen name, Lewis Allan), a Bronx school teacher who also wrote the patriotic and anti-discriminatory song "The House I Live In," made famous by Frank Sinatra. Meeropol was a political radical and prolific writer, who also adopted the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg when they were electrocuted in the 1950's for alleged spy activities for the Soviet Union. Thus, the story of "Strange Fruit" brings together the life of the greatest jazz songstress of all time with the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement, the history of left wing politics of the 1930's through the 1950's, the story of a landmark New York nightclub, and the mores of an exceptional era in the world of entertainment.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:33 PM

Also see post by Joe Offer in thread 30958: Strange Fruit


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:45 PM

Wow..Thanks for the replies..The article by "David Margolick of the Guardian was helpful..

Thanks again

Jack


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: Deckman
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:10 PM

I thought "The House I live In" was written by Earl Robinson, of Seattle. Am I wrong? Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:11 PM

Abel Meeropol, working under the pseudonymn Lewis Allan, wrote the lyrics to The House I Live In. Earl Robinson composed the music. Earl Robinson collaborated on quite a few songs where he wrote the music and someone else penned the words. These include I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill (with Alfred Hayes), The Free and Equal Blues (with Yip Harburg), and Black and White with David Arkin.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: Deckman
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:18 PM

Thanks "Janice In New Jersey." Was (is?) David Arkin (Black and White) any relation to Alan Arkin, the actor and folk singer? Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: michaelr
Date: 11 May 02 - 03:39 PM

Jack - Karan Casey, former singer for Solas, recorded "Strange Fruit" on her CD "The Winds Begin To Sing" (Shanachie, 2001). Great version!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: Genie
Date: 12 May 02 - 03:15 AM

Masato,
Thanks for the info on Abel Meeropol. "The House I Live In" is one of my favorite patriotic songs, and there is half-hour film version of it by Paul Robeson, which I would love to get hold of. (I've heard part of his extended version and really liked it.) Very interesting that he also wrote "Strange Fruit."

BTW, I saw a clip on CNN today about a new photo exhibit on lynchings in America which is being shown at art museums. I can't recall the name of the exhibit, but it's terribly powerful.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: GUEST,skelly
Date: 15 May 02 - 03:50 PM

Nina Simone has also recorded the song.


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: bill kennedy
Date: 15 May 02 - 03:57 PM

and don't forget, and listen to Josh White, who does a better version, IMHO, BTWm, I talked about the Juice Bar in Cleveland on another thread, you m,ight find interesting


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Subject: RE: Origin of Strange Fruit??
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 02 - 08:49 AM

refresh


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