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Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn was one of the finest impressionistic composers of the 20th Century. He was born at Dayton, Ohio on November 29, 1915. Strayhorn became associated with Duke Ellington during 1939 as a second pianist, collaborator, composer, and arranger. This collaboration and friendship with Duke Ellington lasted until Strayhorn's death in 1967.

Much has been written about Billy Strayhorn's memorable music, his generosity, his friendship with Duke Ellington, and his homosexual lifestyle which he kept secret until towards the end of his life. Shadings, tone colors, melody, and precise detail were the keymarks of his prolific composing career. Many accounts mention he composed a song a week.

Among his enormous output of work are found such songs as "Lush Life," "Take The A Train," "Chelsea Bridge," "Passion Flower," "Johnny Come Lately," "Blue Star," "Bagatelle," "Love Has Passed Me By Again,," "Le Sacre Supreme," "Portrait of A Silk Thread," "Tonk," "Wounded Love," "Casmere Cutie," "Pentonsilic," "Lament For An Orchid," "The Hues," "Lana Turner," "Blood Count," "Rain Check," "Isfahan," "Something to Live For," "Kissing Bug," "I Don't Mind," "Satin Doll," "Violet Blue, "Smoda," "Noir Bleu," and "Depk." Many CD recordings of his work are available.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Billy Strayhorn
  • Subtitle: Composers Series
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