Billie Holiday first recorded “Trav’lin’ Light” in 1942 with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Columbia credited her as Lady Day, as she was under contract with another label at the time. This would soon become one of her signature songs. Johnny Mercer’s lyrics portrayed a type of resilience that reflected Holiday’s own strong character and personality. In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, she explained: “If you find a tune and it’s got something to do with you, you don’t have to evolve anything. You just feel it and when you sing it, other people can feel something too.”
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