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Posts Tagged with "The United States of America vs. Billie Holiday"

The war on Billie Holiday: The Bureau of Narcotics’ strange obsession

February 3, 2015

Jazz was the opposite of everything Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, believed in. It is improvised, and relaxed, and free-form. It follows its own rhythm. Anslinger looked out over a scene filled with men like Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk, and he longed to see them all behind bars. In the end he scaled down his focus until it settled like a laser on a single target – Billie Holiday.

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