Fine and Mellow
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|"Fine and Mellow"|
|Single by Billie Holiday|
|Recorded||April 20, 1939|
|Billie Holiday singles chronology|
"Fine and Mellow" is a jazz standard written by Billie Holiday, who first recorded it on April 20, 1939 on the Commodore label. It is a blues lamenting the bad treatment of a woman at the hands of "my man".
Notable performances and recordings
The song was famously performed by Billie Holiday in 1957 in a television special, The Sound of Jazz. The line-up included several jazz legends (the first six are listed in the order of their solos):
- Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
- Lester Young – tenor saxophone
- Vic Dickenson – trombone
- Gerry Mulligan – baritone saxophone
- Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone
- Roy Eldridge – trumpet
- Doc Cheatham – trumpet
- Danny Barker – guitar
- Milt Hinton – double bass
- Mal Waldron – piano
- Osie Johnson – drums
It has been covered several times, sometimes with a change in lyrics or emphasis. For example, Lou Rawls switched the gender to a girlfriend and Eva Cassidy sang it in a defiant tone. Notable cover versions were sung by Nina Simone (on the 1959 At Town Hall), Dee Dee Bridgewater on her Billie Holiday tribute album, and Ella Fitzgerald on her eponymous album.
- Jacobs, Dick & Harriet. Who Wrote That Song?, Writers Digest Books (1994), page 70 - ISBN 0-89879-639-3
- "Fine and Mellow : Billie Holiday : Lyrics". Ladyday.net. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- "JAZZ A film by Ken Burns". PBS. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- "Lou Rawls - The Best of Lou Rawls: The Capitol Jazz & Blues Sessions". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-07-26.