Book Excerpt: Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester "Pres" Young

Author: Douglas Henry Daniels
Copyright: 2002
Publisher: Beacon Press Boston
ISBN: 0-8070-7102-1

page 212
Young also started to wear his trademark porkpie hat around this time [1939]. Freddie Green, who was the next-best thing to a native New Yorker, was the first Basieite to have worn this style of hat; in late January 1937, he sported a porkpie during the Teddy Wilson - Billie Holiday recording session, at which Young, Benny Goodman, Jo Jones, and Walter Page served as sidemen.

page 215
Jazz fans thought Billie Holiday and Lester Young were lovers, and in an "Ebony" article, the vocalist herself contributed to the rumor that she and her favorite accompanist were more than friends when she claimed, "I fell for his music, [and] nearly fell for him." Buck Clayton, however, pointed out that the guitarist Freddie Green was really the man she loved.

page 220
But the tenor stylist was at the same time "a great critic" according to Sweets Edison. Young would ring a little bell "when you stood up to play if after a couple of choruses you didn't really start some fire back there." He was aided in his effort by the band's guitarist: "If Freddie Green had that disapproving look, the guy was on his notice then."

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