There’s not a single singer comparable to The High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone. Fearless, commanding, honest human chronicler Nina Simone, who sang about the tough stuff and makes me cry like no other jazz or blues artist. Wikipedia conveniently runs down some of the more memorable of her 500+ tunes: “Her most well known songs include ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’, ‘I Put a Spell on You’, ‘Four Women’, ‘I Loves You Porgy’, ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’…’Mississippi Goddam’, ‘Ain’t Got No, I Got Life’ and ‘I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl.'” How many of those do you know offhand, or could recognize? Were you even alive during the Civil Rights Era?
You know why Nina (born Eunice!) made such a powerful Civil Right proponent, and her music stands the test of time so well despite being a product of a very specific era of human history? Because, as her nickname implies, Nina’s lyrics, piano and voice tap the very soul of the people – black, white, green, WHATEVER – and that’s a timeless universal. Her music is almost innate, and once you’ve heard it, your mind will store it in its recesses forever.
What an original, and the world is sadder without her wisdom and energy in it. Thank God her music lives on.
“There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were.” – Nina Simone