04 February 2010

If you don't know Nina Simone, you should

In 1964 Nina Simone put the brakes on her burgeoning career in the US for all the right reasons. Having already achieved a certain amount of popular success prior to that time, Simone reacted strongly to the death of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the bombing of a black church in Alabama by writing the song “Mississippi Goddam”. It was the beginning of Simone’s involvement in civil rights and the end of little old racist white folks enjoying her version of jazz standards. Still, she made over 40 recordings and died a music legend in 2003 at the age of 70.

Mississippi Goddam. Sorry this is just a still image, but the audio is good.

Four Women. Again no video but the lyrics--which are amazing--scroll through the video.

Ain't Got No. Finally some actually video of Nina Simone.


  1. I don't know Nina Simone well, so thank you for the education. Is it beautiful music week here at My Porch?

  2. I love her slow version of House of the Rising Sun. Couldn't find it on youtube just now, though I swear it was there before.

    - Christy

  3. I love Nina's music, particularly Mississippi Goodamn, Feeling Good, Lilac Wine and Sinnerman.

    I listened to a New Yorker fiction podcast of Joyce Carol Oates reading the Eudora Wely story Where is the voice coming from? recently, which was apparantly also inspired by the murder of Medgar Evers. The story was simple and shocking- Welty clearly shared Simone's anger. If you're interested, you can find the story at:

  4. I got her greatest hits last year and she has such an amzingly different sound going on. I had no idea she was so involved in civil rights though so thanks for the extra information.

  5. Nina Simone is such a goddess. I love her - thanks for posting these!

  6. I do love Nina Simone. Her version of "My Baby Just Cares for Me" has no rivals.

  7. I love Nina Simone and "Four Women" is one of my favourites. I have a couple of different versions but hadn't heard this one before, thank you for posting!

  8. Lorin: Let's just say I have been wasting a fair amount of time on YouTube.

    Christy: That is a great version of HofRS.

    Devoted Reader: I love Sinnerman.

    Jodie: Her sound is definitely different. The first time I heard her I thought she was a man.

    Jenny: My pleasure, I am glad you enjoyed them.

    Answergirl: She is a master of interpretation. I have never heard one of her covers and didn't appreciate what she brought to it.

    Lethe: There was a version on YouTube live before a French audience, but I didn't think it was as good as this one.

  9. I love the end of Before Sunset where Julie Delpy plays Just in Time by Nina Simone. What a great singer.

  10. I adore Nina Simone. Feeling Good never fails to make me ... well, feel good, and I also love the slow version of House of the Rising Sun.

    I need to listen to some Nina now, which is not a complaint.

  11. Rambling Fancy: Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog. I had trouble leaving a comment there yesterday (think the problem was on my end) but I am going to figure it out, because there is so much on your blog that is groovy and leaves my wanting to comment.

    Paperback Reader: Her version of Feeling Good is great.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.