From the KCRW Archives: Jeff Buckley Covers Billie Holiday

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From KCRW DJ Liza Richardson:

Guest DJ Project set with pro-surfer Stephanie Gilmore. During the course of our discussion, she kept bringing up cool bands and artists showing great taste in music well beyond her years. One of the artists she mentioned was Jeff Buckley. I mean, who doesn’t love Jeff Buckley, right?

So I felt compelled to boast, that I interviewed him on KCRW well before he was famous.  On the spot, our engineer JC, pulled up a track from our archive and played it for a swooning Stephanie Gilmore. It was still stunning after all these years.

As I recall, it was in the early 90’s, and he stopped by KCRW’s studios late one night, settling down in front of a microphone in Master Control right across from me. He sang a handful of songs, including a Bad Brains cover, an original track and a cover of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. There was no engineer at the boards – just Jeff, his voice and a guitar.

We recently rescued what we could from the session because it was recorded on DAT. We were only able to save this incredible version of “Strange Fruit” that you can hear streaming on my show page.

After Stephanie’s reaction, we knew we had to share it with you. Check it out, and fall in love with Jeff Buckley all over again.

Xo, Liza

p.s.:  After this post initially went live, longtime Morning Becomes Eclectic producer Ariana Morgenstern dug a CD out of our Music Library that Jeff had actually signed for us.