Strange Fruit

Have a look at the background on the poem and song “Strange Fruit” by Abel Meerepol and the dance by Pearl Primus before section on Thursday morning. Billie Holliday’s 1939 version is perhaps most famous, but listen also to the other versions gathered here by Lara Pellegrinelli: Evolution Of A Song: ‘Strange Fruit’ by Lara Pellegrinelli.

The story of the poem and song’s author Abel Meerepol.

Background on the choreography of the song by Pearl Primus

“The Salt Project and WFYI collaborated on a retrospective of the 75th anniversary of the classic Billie Holiday song “Strange Fruit.” The video traces the dark inspiration for the song, and the redemptive power of art. The moving SALT video is followed by a powerful performance of the song by Marietta Simpson and Tyron Cooper.”

Billie Holliday’s 1939 recording

“Strange Fruit” performed by Dawn Marie Watson; poor audio but the full dance. Start here.

Excerpt of a performance of Pearl Primus’s dance by Harumi Elders.

Excerpt of the performance we saw in the plenary session on 1/14 by Dawn Marie Watson Bazemore (better video but with the wrong soundtrack).

Another mashup with Dawn Marie Watson dancing.