© 2023 Red River Radio
Voice of the Community
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn)

Billy Strayhorn, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948.
William P. Gottlieb (1917–2006) Restored by Adam Cuerden
In accordance with the wishes of William Gottlieb, the photographs in this collection entered into the public domain on February 16, 2010.
Billy Strayhorn, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948.

Air Thursday, July 4, 2019, at 11 p.m. The fruitful collaboration between Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington is widely known to have brought us such classics as “Take The ‘A’ Train,” “Chelsea Bridge,” and “Isfahan.” But behind the music, Billy Strayhorn led a complex and often vice-driven life. While composing some of the most harmonically rich jazz of its time, often in the shadow of Duke Ellington, Strayhorn was an outlier in that he led an openly gay life as a black man in the homophobic 1940s. This week, interviews with family Strayhorn family members, Strayhorn’s biographer, and rare archival tape of Strayhorn himself.