Happy birthday, Lady Day!

The great Billie Holiday, a Cladrite favorite, would have been 98 today.

Her music is, of course, still widely available and oft-heard, so to pay tribute, we thought we’d share some scenes from New Orleans (1947), the only feature film she acted in. It almost goes without saying that Ms. Holiday was a much better singer than actor, but she manages to hold her own in a far-too-typical maid role.

We’re also sharing a couple of our favorite Holiday sides. We much prefer her work of the 1930s and ’40s to the latter-day material, recorded after things had started to go so wrong for her. Yes, there’s an undeniable poignancy to those later recordings, but we prefer the verve and exuberance of her earlier work.

Billie Holiday—These Foolish Things

Billie Holiday—Easy to Love

Billie Holiday—A Fine Romance