San Jose, CA USA

The Gardenia Society – reboot …


Hello again everyone.  Ever feel like just throwing everything away and starting over?  I have felt that way a few times but didn’t want to lose the invested time in building the website.  Luckily, we upgraded a number of items on the website and lost all our data.  So, we are in reboot mode … yeah !!

The Gardenia Society Foundation

The Gardenia Society was founded by Nicole Holiday in 1972.  Yes, Nicole Holiday is Billie Holiday’s younger step-sister. Nicole thought it was very important to have a non-commercial, non-judgemental source of truth around Billie Holiday.  Nicole spent much of her time and fortune attempting to fight off those that sought to sensationalize and commercialize Billie.  From these efforts;  The Billie Holiday Memorial Foundation was created.   Efforts quickly ran into legal challenges from multiple parties.  Chief among them was Billie’s estate claimed by her reported husband Louis McKay.

Nicole passed away and The Gardenia Society was formed as a way to honor her last wishes and fund her funeral services.

So here we are … 

The Gardenia Society’s Mission

The Gardenia Society spends our efforts non in combating Billie’s estate or brand but rather in the telling of her story within the larger story of the development of Jazz.  

Jazz itself is a development of the black community in the Southern US and Caribean.  By black community, we mean those who were defined by law as – not white – which included the creole peoples of the South. Jazz rose to prominence during Billie’s lifetime partly due to the technology of recording and the distribution of those records throughout the US and further.

If one were to stop and think a moment, the history of American Music has two main roots from both white and black communities. The black community might be divided into music during slavery and music after the institution of chattel slavery was ended. The distinctive music form during slavery was Gospel (or Spirituals) and The Blues (in multiple forms, some with instruments others as work songs).

Now, The Gardenia Society has accepted the challenge to discuss these roots of American Music. We intend to discuss the history of black people in America and the ongoing relationship between the black community and other cultures which began melting together as America grew. 

We, therefore, intend to discuss music – blues, gospel, jazz but also folk, pop, R&B, rap, EDM, etc.  In addition, we hope to begin shining a light and challenging long-held beliefs related to the history and contribution of the black people of America.


What to expect from The Gardenia Society

We are not an academic think tank so don’t expect us to pontificate on abstract themes or put forward propositions that give you headaches and require a big dictionary to understand.

We write about music, we host live performances, we create content hosted on YouTube and Twitch and we generate various blog posts. Our blog posts cover a wide range of topics from technology and personalities to world events. 

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Let us know your thoughts, support us, challenge us and let us know if there is a special topic you would like us to consider.  We (royal we that is … me and my big dog) will be on it !!


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