059 - I'm Billie Holiday and My Life was NO Vacation!
Her dad leaves to pursue a career in Jazz banjo, raised by her mom’s mother-in law, truancy sends her to the House of Good Shepard Childs prison and after finally being paroled to her mother. At age 10 she drops out of school to work at her mother's diner.
She finds a job running errands in a brothel, where she 1st the hears West End Blues. Her mother leaves her for NYC. Only days after being in reunited with her mother in NYC, she’s sex trafficked at the brothel her mom works at. Luckily, it’s raided by the police, but since sex work is illegal, her and her mom are sent to prison.
After release, she started singing in night clubs in Harlem, New York. She changes her name and dives straight into the NYC Jazz scene. She makes her record debut with Benny Goodman, Riffin’ the Scotch becomes her 1st big hit!
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This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts