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nina simone

Nina Simone

b. Eunice Kathleen Waymon, 21st February 1933, Tyron, North Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 21st April 2003, Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.

Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933, one of eight children.

She sang in church from infancy and began playing the piano at the age of two.

Nina SimoneNina Simone

Nina studied at the Juilliard Conservatory in New York where she intended to pursue a career as a concert pianist, however, the need to earn a living led her to becoming a night-club accompanist.

Before long, she was an attraction in her own right.

A concert at New York's town hall in 1959 when she secured a hit with an her individual interpretation of George Gershwin's 'I Loves You Porgy'.

Her 1960's work included 'Gin House Blues', 'Forbidden Fruit' and 'I Put A Spell On You', while another of her singles, 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', was later covered by the Animals.

The singer's reputation was enhanced, following upon her signing with RCA.

'Ain't Got No, I Got Life', a song featured in the musical 'Hair', became a U.K. number 2, while her version of the Bee Gees', 'To Love Somebody' reached number 5 in the charts.

Nina's involvement with the civil rights movement provided the material for many of her songs such as 'Mississippi Goddam', 'Backlash Blues', 'Four Women', and 'To be 'Young, Gifted and Black'.

The song became an anthem of the movement and was dedicated to her late friend, the playwright Lorraine Harisberry.

Many of the civil rights activists she became friends with included the Black Muslim leader, Louis Farrakhan, the singer, Miriam Makeba, the Black Panther activist, Stokely Carmichael, and the writer, James Baldwin.

Nina's appearances became increasingly focused on benefits and rallies.

A surprise hit, 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', moved her back into the commercial spotlight when it reached number 5 in 1987after it was utilised in a television advertisement for Chanel No 5 perfume.

Disillusioned with America, which Nina perceived as becoming an uncaring environment, she relocated to France.

Nina Simone died on the 21st of April 2003, after a long illness at her home in Southern France. She was 70.

Nina Simone

Nina's real legacy lay in her influence on subsequent generations of women singers.

The likes of Erykah Badu, Cassandra Wilson and Alicia Keys are among the many who benefited from the example of her fusion of blues, soul, jazz, folk and pop, as well as her uncompromising stance against racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.

Real Player


Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem Records 1959)

Nina Simone And Her Friends (Bethlehem Records 1959)

The Amazing Nina Simone (Colpix Records 1959)

Nina Simone At The Town Hall (Colpix Records 1959)

Nina Simone At Newport (Colpix Records 1960)

Forbidden Fruit (Colpix Records 1961)

Nina Simone At The Village Gate (Colpix Records 1961)

Nina Simone Sings Ellington (Colpix Records 1962)

Nina's Choice (Colpix Records 1963)

Nina Simone At Carnegie Hall (Colpix Records 1963)

Folksy Nina (Colpix Records 1964)

Nina Simone In Concert (Philips Records 1964)

Broadway ... Blues ... Ballads (Philips Records 1964)

I Put A Spell On You (Philips Records 1965)

Tell Me More (Phillips Records 1965)

Pastel Blues (Philips Records 1965)

Let It All Out (Philips Records 1966)

Wild Is The Wind (Philips Records 1966)

Nina With Strings (Colpix Records 1966)

This Is (Phillips Records 1966)

The High Priestess Of Soul (Philips Records 1966)

Nina Simone Sings The Blues (RCA Victor Records 1967)

Sweet 'N Swinging (RCA Victor Records 1967)

Silk And Soul (RCA Victor Records 1967)

Nuff Said (RCA Victor Records 1968)

And Piano! (RCA Records 1969)

To Love Somebody (RCA Records 1969)

Black Gold (RCA Records 1970)

Here Comes The Sun (RCA Records 1971)

Heart And Soul (RCA Records 1971)

Emergency Ward (RCA Records 1972)

It Is Finished? (RCA Records 1972)

Gifted And Black (Mojo Records 1974)

I Loves You Porgy (CTI Records 1977)

Baltimore (CTI Records 1978)

Cry Before I Go (Manhattan Records 1980)

Nina Simone (Dakota Records 1982)

Fodder On My Wings (IMS Records 1982)

Nina's Back (VPI Records 1986)

Live At Vine Street (Verve Records 1987)

Live At Ronnie Scott's (Windham Hill Records 1988)

Live (Zeta Records 1990)

The Blues (Novus/RCA Records 1991)

In Concert (Novus Records 1992)

A Single Woman (Novus Records 1993)

The Great Show Of Nina Simone: Live In Paris (Accord Records 1996)

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