Billie Holiday, née Eleanora Fagan, was born on April 7, 1915 at Philadelphia General Hospital. “Looking for Lady Day,” hosted and written by news anchor Tamala Edwards, is a fact-based portrait of the iconic singer who changed the game on and off stage.
All That Philly Jazz Director Faye Anderson leads a walking tour, “Billie Holiday’s Philadelphia.” The tour starts at the Bessie Smith Walk of Fame plaque. During an appearance on “Eddie Condon Floor Show Live” in 1949, Condon remarked, “You’re the best Bessie I’ve seen since Bessie.”
The walking tour ends at the Attucks Hotel (distance: 0.7 miles).
The stops include the Academy of Music, Billie Holiday Walk of Fame plaque, and sites of the Fantasy Lounge and South Broad Street USO.
We also stop at hotels where Lady Day stayed, including the hotel where she and her husband, Louis McKay, were arrested. The arrest is depicted in the biopic United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Our next-to-last stop is the Green Book site where Billie Holiday performed four months before her death. Emerson’s Tavern is the setting for the Broadway play, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” Audra McDonald won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.
Tickets are available for the walking tour scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2022 and Saturday, April 30, 2022 (International Jazz Day).