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laura nyro

Laura Nyro

b. Laura Nigro, 18th October 1947, The Bronx, New York, New York State, U.S.A.

d. 8th April 1997, Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Laura Nyro was one of pop music's true originals and a highly talented songwriter embraced by Black and White audiences and artists alike.

The daughter of the daughter of Gilda Mirsky Nigro and Louis Nigro, (Louis was a piano tuner and jazz trumpeter), Laura was born on the 18th October 1947, and composed her first songs at the age of eight.

After attending Manhattan's High School of Music and Art, she began performing in area clubs, drawing on influences as diverse as Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Curtis Mayfield and John Coltrane.

Laura NyroLaura NyroLaura NyroLaura Nyro

the first songs - 1966 / more than a new discovery - 1967 / eli and the thirteenth confession - 1968 / new york tendaberry - 1969

In 1966, Laura issued her first LP, 'The First Songs' for the Verve Forecast imprint.

The album provided material for other artists with the Fifth Dimension scoring with 'Wedding Bell Blues' and 'Blowin' Away'.

Barbra Streisand covered 'Stoney End,' and Blood, Sweat and Tears recorded 'And When I Die.'

In 1967, Laura made just her second major live appearance to date at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Then music agent David Geffen saw her set and was so impressed that he resigned his current position to become her manager.

He also won Laura a contract with Columbia, and in 1968 she returned with the album 'Eli and the Thirteenth Confession'.

'New York Tendaberry', was released in 1969.

The record's 'Time and Love' and 'Save the Country' soon emerged as two of her most well-regarded and popular songs.

Laura NyroLaura NyroLaura NyroLaura Nyro

christmas and the beads of sweat - 1970 / gonna take a miracle - 1971 / smile - 1976 / seasons of lights - 1977

With 1970's 'Christmas and the Beads of Sweat', she continued her exploration of soul music, enlisting Muscle Shoals staples like Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins and Eddie Hinton.

'Beads of Sweat' also featured guitar work from Duane Allman.

1971's 'Gonna Take a Miracle', was recorded with Labelle and the production team of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.

This was Laura's lone album of non-original material, it featured her tributes to Motown ('Jimmy Mack,' 'Nowhere to Run'), doo-wop ('The Bells,' 'Spanish Harlem') and the girl-group era ('I Met Him Om A Sunday').

At the age of 24, Laura announced her retirement.

She married, severed her industry connections, and moved to a small community in New England.

The marriage ended in divorce, and in 1975 she resurfaced with 'Smile'; a subsequent tour yielded the 1977 live set 'Season of Lights'.

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nested - 1978 / impressions - 1980 / mothers spiritual - 1984 / live at the bottom line - 1989

However, the long lay off derailed whatever chart momentum her music had garnered, and after the poor sales of 1978's 'Nested', she again retreated from the music business.

When Laura finally returned from her self-imposed exile in 1984 with 'Mother's Spiritual', her music had grown more melancholic.

As the title indicated, her own motherhood provided considerable inspiration for her new work, as did her rustic New England lifestyle.

Laura waited another five years before issuing her next LP, 'Live at the Bottom Line', recorded at the legendary New York club.

Laura NyroLaura Nyro

walk the dod and light the light - 1993 / angel in the dark - 2001

'Walk the Dog and Light the Light', her first collection of new material in nearly a decade, followed in 1993.

Laura Nyro died of ovarian cancer on 8th April 1997, at her home in Danbury, Connecticut, at the age of 49, the same age at which that illness had claimed the life of her mother..

Laura Nyro

Recommended Reading:

SOUL PICNIC: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro by Michele Kort @ Amazon, (Published in the U.S., in April 2002, by St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books).

Real Player


The First Songs (Verve Records 1967)

More Than A New Discovery (Verve Records 1967)

Eli and the 13th Confession (Columbia Records 1968)

New York Tendaberry (Columbia Records 1969)

Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (Columbia Records 1970)

Gonna Take a Miracle (Columbia Records 1971)

The First Songs (Columbia Records 1973)

Smile (Columbia Records 1976)

Season of Lights...Laura Nyro in Concert [live] (Columbia Records 1977)

Nested (Columbia Records 1978)

Mother's Spiritual (Columbia Records 1984)

Live at the Bottom Line (Cypress Records 1990)

Walk the Dog & Light the Light (Run the Dog...) (Columbia Records 1993)

Impressions (Embassy Records 1980)

Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro (Sony Records 1997)

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