"Billie Holiday deserves a biography in which her musicianship isn't overshadowed by the tragic events of her life. O'Meally has written that book," says Entertainment Weekly about this absorbing and authoritative account of the greatest jazz singer in history. O'Meally emphasizes Holiday's artistry and training rather than her personal miseries, and he uses voluminous archival material to correct common myths about Holiday. Chronicling her rigorous musical apprenticeship in Baltimore, her reception in New York by Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, and her work with various musicians, particularly Lester Young, Lady Day is an impassioned testament to Holiday's genius that confirms her place in American jazz.
Robert O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University, is the author of The Craft of Ralph Ellison and the editor of The Jazz Cadence of American Culture. He is co-producer of the 5-CD Smithsonian set The Jazz Singers, nominated for a Grammy award. His articles on American music and literature appear in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and theAtlantic Monthly.