This song is such a great song to have on in the background when you are feeling most emotions not just good but even horrendous as it can bring a smile to your face at the most miserable of times. Nina Simone’s voice is something special as most of you already know and to be able to sing with such raw talent was something that was an absolute must have back in the days where such a song was a new hit.
A little history:
(Info found on Wikipedia)
Eunice Kathleen Waymon or better know as Nina Simone was born on February 21st 1933. The sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina. With stars in her eyes leading her down the path of her dreams to becoming a concert pianist her direction took a sharp turn when despite a great audition she was denied a place at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She played in a small club in Philadelphia to enable her to continue her musical education and was required to also sing as part of her act. This is where Bethlehem Records approached Simone for a recording. In 1958 Simone had a hit singing ‘I Loves You Porgy’
Through her musical career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, a lot of which were released between 1958-1974. Her debut album was titled Little Girl Blue with the hit single ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’.
The musical style of Simone was an amalgamation of gospel, pop and classical music with special influence from Johann Sebastian Bach. Her tone was Contralto with jazz like expressions, with a first love of classical music she injected as much of this as possible into her music as she felt the pop style was very much inferior to her first love Classical.
After a long 20 year music career Simone became involved in the Civil Rights movement which curved her life into yet another direction. This direction pushed Simone to be the influential figure she is known as with regards to equal rights in the US.
Many trials and tribulations including a failed marriage and technically being a fugitive for crimes that she did not commit Simone finally after living in various countries decided to settle in France. More albums were released and some songs re-released leading to chart hits at later stages of her life. Simone lived with Breast Cancer for many years before dying in her sleep at home on April 21st 2003. For many members of family, friends and fans this was a sad day.
She lived her life and is an iconic member of musical and black history. A true musical genius and legend that will never be forgotten. Eunice Kathleen Waymon aka Nina Simone.