Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five on Friday Set 4

Five on Friday is a new meme by Travis of Trav's Thoughts.

My five are the steamy songs of Billie Holiday and Etta James. A very special song included here is "Strange Fruit."

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"Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday. It condemned American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans that had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States. Holiday's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978.[2] 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.

"Strange Fruit" began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-school teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published under the pen name Lewis Allan.[3] Meeropol and his wife adopted Robert and Michael, sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of espionage and executed by the United States.[4]

Meeropol wrote "Strange Fruit" to express his horror at lynchings, possibly after seeing Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine.


Jamie said...

When I was 12 my mother called me in to the living room and said, "Listen". The song on the radio was "Strange Fruit". I listened. She said nothing else. It wasn't necessary. The song said it all.

♥ Kathy said...

Great songs and what a neat meme

Travis said...

I am so going to enjoy listening to these over and over this weekend. Great choices!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I always preferred the one by Nina Simone: