Billie Holiday

American Routes Shortcuts: Catherine Russell

Jun 23, 2017

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week we feature blues singer Catherine Russell. Her dad was Louis Armstrong’s musical director and her mom was bassist for the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.  Here’s Catherine on her musical upbringing and the canon of female-fronted blues.

When Billie Holiday died in 1959, thousands of mourners attended her funeral at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in New York City. The overflow crowd lined the sidewalks. Honorary pallbearers included such jazz greats as Benny Goodman and Mary Lou Williams. Newspapers and magazines ran heartfelt tributes.