Nina Simone Essay

1150 words - 5 pages

On February 21, 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina a jazz legend was born. We know her by her stage name Nina Simone; born Eunice Kathleen Waymon. Nina was born the sixth child into a non-wealthy family where both her parents were ministers and her father a handyman as well. Nina began playing the piano by the age of 3. She showed talent at a young age that could not be overlooked. Nina’s parents, mother Mary Waymon and father John Waymon acknowledged her talent well and the fact that she was able to play back songs by ear was remarkable. Her parents contributed to her studying classical piano starting at her young age. This would be the start of her musical journey and with many ups and ...view middle of the document...

Between 1957 and 1967 Nina signed to many different labels, Bethlehem Records, Colpix Records, Philips, and RCA Records to name a few. During those years and many more she gave us some great recordings like; “I Loves You Porgy”, “Trouble in Mind”, “Young, Gifted and Black”, “The Other Woman”, and “Strange Fruit”. All of these popular hits gave Nina a spot on the charts, both British and US (Deming).
During the 1960’s Nina Simone became part of the civil rights movement and later the black power movement. She began creating songs pertaining to the social issues that were happening. She did not want to take her music over the edge, but it became something she could not avoid. She stated “How can you take the memory of a man like Medgar Evers and reduce all that he was to three and a half minutes in a simple tune?” (Nina Simone) (Deming). Her songs where considered by some as anthems of those movements such as “Mississippi Goddam” which was written after Medgar Evers murder and the Alabama church bombing (Nina Simone, 2014).
Between the 1970’s and early 1980’s Nina began traveling and living around different Europen countries where she would focus on her career there. Some other personal issues Nina had with the law, and concerts would often bring her back to the US, but she continued to enjoy her self in Europe. A past recording of a 1959 hit “My Baby Just Cares for Me” was used in a British commercial and then rose to the top of the UK charts. Nina was reconized on many different levels of music and felt she could not be categorized, “Playing popular songs in a classical style with a classical piano thechnique influenced by cocktail jazz…saying what sort of music I played gave the critics problems because there was something from everything in there, but it also meant I was appreciated across the board”(Nina Simone) (Nathan, Ward & Seidel, 2013). After time Nina released a few new albums, Live & Kickin, Let It Be Me, A Single Woman. She also released an autobiography I Put a Spell on You, published in 1990. 1993 Nina settled in Carry-le-Rout, South France. She continued to tour throughout the 90’s, keeping her fan base very strong. Nina...

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