May 11, 2016

Something Wonderful: God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday, The 1941 Recordings

Them that's got shall have
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible says and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own

"God Bless The Child" is a song written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. in 1939, first recorded on May 9, 1941 in New York City by Holiday under the OKeh label.

She recorded the song with Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra with Roy Eldridge and Ernie Powell on trumpet, Jimmy Powell and Lester Boone on alto saxophone, Eddie Heywood on piano, Paul Chapman on guitar), Grachan Moncur II on bass, and Herbert Cowans on drums. Holiday's version of the song was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1976. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. In her autobiography 'Lady Sings The Blues', Holiday indicated an argument with her mother over money led to the song. She indicated that during the argument she said the line "God bless the child that's got his own". The anger over the incident led her to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with Herzog.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 11, 2016 7:28 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

First song I ever taught myself to play without ever having heard it. I've always loved this song. Thanks!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at May 11, 2016 3:42 PM