Holiday, Billie (1915 – 1959)

A young Billie Holiday sings with Count Basie

An extremely rare pair of early signed album pages by the Count Basie band, featuring Billie Holiday, dated (in collector’s hand) “Rosland, Oct. 12, 1937”. Holiday signs boldly in pencil alongside Count Basie.

The other band members, across the two pages are Erle Warren, Buck Clayton, Eddie Durham, Walter Page, Lester Young, James Rushing, Dan Minor, Bobby Moore, Ronald Washington, Edward Lewis, Freddie Greene, Joe Jones, Paul Gonsalves, Bennie Morton and an extremely rare signature of Herschel Evans. In fine condition. A fantastic set of signatures. To the reverse of one of the pages, Duke Ellington has signed alongside nine of his band members.

Holiday’s stint as a big band vocalist with Count Basie lasted just six months. The traveling conditions of the band were often poor and included one-nighters in clubs, moving from city to city with little stability. By February 1938, Holiday had been fired by Count Basie for being temperamental and unreliable.