On Dec. 8, 1957, CBS producer Robert Herridge assembled many of the great pioneers of jazz to perform together on live television, as part of "The Sound of Jazz." One of the most memorable performances of the night was Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow."
By 1957, Holiday had experienced her share of trouble with drugs and hard living, and her voice was not what it once had been. Yet that day, on the set of "The Sound of Jazz," it was clear that she was still a singer with an impeccable sense of timing and a style that could convey both joy and suffering. In this interview, Nat Hentoff, music writer and part of the production team that organized "The Sound of Jazz," recalls the highlight of the broadcast.