Irene Higginbotham

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Irene Higginbotham
Irene Higginbotham.jpg
Background information
Born (1918-06-11)June 11, 1918
Origin Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died August 27, 1988(1988-08-27) (aged 70)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Blues, jazz
Occupations Songwriter, pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active 1930s–1988

Irene Higginbotham (June 11, 1918, Worcester, Massachusetts – August 27, 1988, New York City, New York)[1] was an American songwriter and concert pianist. She is best known for co-writing the Billie Holiday song "Good Morning Heartache" (1946).[2]


While her closest connection in the popular music of the 1930s and 1940s was Holiday, the prolific songwriter was niece of the classic African American jazz trombonist J.C. Higginbotham. She was a music student of Choral Conductor Kemper Harold of Morehouse College fame and Frederic Hall. She was also a concert pianist at fifteen and joined American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1944. She was a composer of almost 50 songs.[3]


Her popular-song compositions included:[4]

Also see ASCAP pages for a partial list.[5]

The two Irenes[edit]

Irene Higginbotham has not to be confused with Irene Kitchings (1908-1975), who was married with jazz pianist Teddy Wilson for a short time and has written the jazz standard Some Other Spring.[6]


External links[edit]