The jazz pianist Billy Tipton was born in Oklahoma City as Dorothy Tipton, but almost nobody knew the truth until the day he died, in Spokane in 1989. Over a fifty-year performing career, Billy Tipton fooled nearly everyone, including Duke Ellington and Norma Teagarden, five successive "wives" with whom Billy lived as a man, and three children who he "fathered." As Billy Tipton herself said, "Some people might think I'm a freak or a hermaphrodite. I'm not. I'm a normal person. This has been my choice." This jazz-era biography evokes the rich popular-music history of the Great Depression and reads like a detective story.