The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Well, I guess it is about kick‐off time.
I'm gonna put this on top of here
so we can get both of us.
My next guest has appeared on Broadway.
Sold out Carnegie Hall.
She's played in movies out in Hollywood
with the likes of Louis Armstrong.
I am Reginald Lord Divine
and oh, my God...
Oh, my God.
I cannot believe that we have the opportunity
as I live and breathe to interview the Lady,
the legend, my hero, Miss Billie Holiday.
The Lady Day.Which do you prefer, honey?
She'd prefer you pay her money first.
Tell me. Tell me.
What's it like to be a colored woman?
Would you ask Doris Day a question like that?
Well, Doris Day is not colored, silly.
I want to talk Strange Fruit.
Yes, Strange Fruit.
My audience wants to know.
You keep getting in trouble for it,
but you are determined to keep singing it. Troublemaker!
You ever seen a lynching?
It's about human rights.
Government forgets that sometimes.
They just want me to shut up and sing All of Me.
Let's start where it all began.
At the Cafe Society.
Oh, honey, I loved that place.
I remember seeing Lena Horne tipping in with... Who was it?
Oh, that drunk. Oh! Tallulah Bankhead.
That's the first time I saw you sing, honey.
Mesmerizing. Oh, and everybody was there.
The wrong kind of place for the right kind of people.
Like Jimmy Fletcher.
Leave him alone. He didn't know what he was walking into.
Yes, he did. Soldier boy.
You were there with that famous manager back then.
What was his name?
Yeah, that's right. Crooked‐ass Joe Glaser.
He was there with my husband Monroe.
‐ Have a good evening, sir. ‐ You as well.
without you? ♪
♪ Go on, dear,
Orson Welles is outside, he needs to see you again.
Tell him tomorrow. Monroe's out of town.
You got some fans in from Baltimore that want to see you.
‐ Lucio, you dig the show? -Oh, yeah.
And who are you? ‐ Jimmy Fletcher.
She don't know you. Move. Come on, y'all.
‐ Thank you. - Come on, y'all, meet Lady Day.
Hey, how y'all doing? Thanks for coming.
Hello, Miss Holiday. ‐ Oh, no. Please call me Billie.
‐ We love you. ‐ Ah, y'all are sweet.
So y'all came all the way from Baltimore to come see me, huh?
Yes, ma'am. ‐ Yes, ma'am.
And you're gonna take me to a fancy dinner, too.
Gee‐whiz! I'm from Baltimore, too.
Come here. Have some champagne. Prez, give 'em something to drink.
You just make sure he take you to Jimmie's Chicken Shack up in Harlem.
Oh, God, yeah. That's good eatin'.
Here. Let me see that.
Where in Baltimore are y'all from?
‐ Near Columbus Park? ‐ Okay, yeah, she's from east.
Yeah. Fells Point.
Thank you. Thank you, Miss Holiday.
I'm sorry, Mom. I was on a job interview.
What job interview's, uh, at 10:30...
Don't... stop. Stop.
What job interviews are at 10:30 on a Sunday night?
James, your lies are unbecoming, and I'm getting tired of it.
Living off your father's hard‐earned trust.
And you know I hate when you're late. ‐ Yes.
Sunday dinner's all we have together now that you've moved out.
Yes. Yes, Mother, I was downtown interviewing for this writing position
with The Sun news.
I had to go to the editor's home.
I got the job.
Your father would turn in his grave
with all that he accomplished. ‐ Mom. Mom, please.
You're not fooling nobody walking around in that uniform.
Just because I don't hang in the gutter with your friends
doesn't mean I don't know what's going on.
You're hanging out with those jazz musicians
in them clubs and God...
God knows what else. Take this out of here.
I do like the jazz clubs, Mom.
I even met Billie Holiday.
‐ Really? ‐ Yes, really.
You should be congratulating me on my new job that I start tomorrow.
Finally getting out of this uniform.
Oh, my! Billie Holiday!
I hear that she is quite the lady.
I don't know, Mom. I hear just the opposite.
Those are just rumors.
Anytime somebody colored is doing something right,
they paint us out wrong.
Good morning, Miss Holiday. ‐ Milk. No, that's for the baby.
Mommy didn't forget about you.
It's like a damn kennel in here.
Vogue magazine want to interview me about your gowns and such.
You ain't giving no interview to no magazine.
Somebody wants to hear about her they can come talk to me.
They sent these over.
‐ I'll take them both. ‐ It'll cost me an arm and a leg.
Shut the fuck up, Monroe.
Send the dressmaker one of my husband's arms, please.
Ooh, where'd he come from?
Yeah. Joe, nah, he not clicking.
Hey, man. Thanks for coming in.
‐ Sorry, ma'am. ‐ Thank you.
‐ Good riddance. ‐ Ros.
‐ He was horrible. ‐ Take a look.
Yeah, looks good.
They should be running half‐page ads, at least.
You should be getting a bigger cut of the door, too.
You're practically topping the DownBeat poll.
Eleanor Roosevelt has to pull strings to get in here.
He has a point.
Yeah, you do kind of got a point.
I'm working on it.
When she started here, she was a nobody, and now she's a star.
I'm working on it, okay?
‐ Joe's working on it, honey. - Give me that.
Mm‐mm. See, look. Told you.