Episode Air Date: March 22, 2017
Artist: Billie Holiday
Recording Title: Gloomy Sunday
You’re listening to “Gloomy Sunday” recorded by Billie Holiday in 1941. It goes by another title as well, “The Hungarian Suicide Song”. Written by Rezső Seress and László Jávor , the song was linked to a slew of suicides in Hungary. Urban legend or not, the intrigue surrounding the song translated into sales. Still, the song was met with opposition by stations all over the world. Some would only play instrumental versions of the song, and Hungary banned its play outright.
Seress actually committed suicide himself in 1968. His obituary in The New York Times claimed that he ” complained that the success of “Gloomy Sunday” actually increased his unhappiness, because he knew he would never be able to write a second hit.”