Divas Part One

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on July 23, 2009




It started when PG downloaded some music. The tune was “Sister Morphine” and the Rolling Stones had a guest vocalist, Marianne Faithful. PG learned later that Miss Faithful had a creditable claim to writing the song. When he heard this number, PG was amazed.

The idea hit to assemble a cd of other female vocalists, all of whom create the same mood as SM. The cd was burned, and the idea for a series of tributes to these divas was hatched. This is the first of the series. There are 17 ladies on the first cd. They are:

Billie Holliday, Patsy Cline, Nico, Janis Joplin, Marianne Faithful, Dorothy Ashby, Joni Mitchell, Etta James, Francoise Hardy, Carole King, Annie Lennox, Sarah Vaughn, Emmy Lou Harris, Nouvelle Vague, Bessie Smith, Gillian Welch, Patty Smith

This is far from a complete list. There are enough moody, edgy female singers to fill two or three more cds. We could probably start a new blog just for the tributes. If someone is looking for an idea for a blog, you are welcome to the thought. Today, we are going to pay tribute to the first three names on the list.

Billie Holiday
was born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915. ( The copyright to “Lady Sings the Blues “is given to Eleanora Fagan and William Dufty) She got her stage name from her probable father, Clarence Holiday, and the film star Billie Dove. There are many legends about her.
Lady Day was known for her singing and her drug problems, not always in that order. She was arrested for heroin possession in the hospital, on her deathbed. She died July 17, 1959, technically still in police custody. The song on the cd is “You’ve Changed”. It is on “Lady in Satin”,  Miss Holiday’s last album.

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932. Her stage name came from her middle name, and Gerald Cline, her first husband. Miss Cline got her first break singing “Walking after Midnight” on the Arthur Godfrey show. ( Mr. Godfrey got a lot of bad publicity later when he fired singer Julius LaRosa on the air). In 1961, Miss Cline joined the Grand Ole Opry, and was in a near fatal car wreck.

After the wreck, she recorded “Crazy”, written by Willie Nelson. That became a hit, and Patsy recorded what was to be her last album. The song on the cd, “Sweet Dreams”, was released after her death. Patsy Cline died in a plane crash March 3, 1963.

Nico was born Christa Päffgen, 16 October 1938. She was given her stage name by photographer Herbert Tobias. He had a former boyfriend named Nikos Papatakis.

Nico was a model and actress, with a minor part in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”. She somehow got into the crowd surrounding Andy Warhol, and became the vocalist for The Velvet Underground. She left them before long, but was musical cohorts with John Cale the rest of her life.

She made some solo albums, and took heroin. She was reportedly clean when she had a minor heart attack while riding her bike in Ibiza, Spain. She hit her head on the pavement when she fell, and died the next day, July 18, 1988.

The song on the cd is “These Days”. It is from the album “Chelsea Girl”. “These Days” was written by Jackson Browne, who was Nico’s boyfriend when he was 17 years old.




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