It’s October 12th! The film we’re featuring today was released on October 12, 1972, which was exactly 51 years ago. Ain’t that something? Oh yeah, and if you didn’t know, we’re celebrating what we call Black Cinema Month at Soul Music Society! That means we are highlighting some of the most legendary films from the 70s including their stars and their music. We have to feature Lady Sings the Blues. To get the ball rolling, check out this clip from the Lady Sings the Blues trailer. Bring back memories?

Lady Sings the Blues is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday, loosely based on her 1956 autobiography which, in turn, took its title from Billie Holiday’s song. It was produced by Motown Productions for Paramount Pictures. Diana Ross, in her feature film debut, portrayed Billie Holiday, alongside a cast including Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, and Scatman Crothers. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1973, including Best Actress in a Leading Role for Diana Ross.

Diana Ross broke down racial barriers with her portrayal of the legendary jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday in the award-winning Lady Sings The Blues and marked a turning point in black cinematic history, helping to take black films into the mainstream.

And did y’all know that in the late 1960s, producer Jay Weston was developing a project on the life story of Billie Holiday? His previous credits had included co-producing For The Love Of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier, and he was eager to adapt Billie Holiday’s autobiography for the big screen. To this end, he approached director Sidney Furie (who had worked with stars like Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Robert Redford and Michael Caine) to join him.

In this article


Lady Sings The Blues (Soundtrack)

Movie: Lady Sings the Blues

Jay Weston’s initial choice for the role of Billie Holiday was actually actress Diana Sands, but Sidney Furie saw Diana Ross in her spectacular 1971 award-winning TV special Diana! and knew instinctively she was the perfect choice.

I hope this brings back some nostalgia for y’all! Pop this movie on before the year ends if at all possible. ⁠Check out our Black film features from earlier this month. You might find a film you’ve never heard of!

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