Here comments are a powerful challenge for artists. Whether you’re a filmmaker, photographer, musician, writer, painter, what have you. Do you feel the call to use your art, at some level, to make a difference in this world? To reflect the challenges of the day? There’s no judgment here. Just a question worth pondering. – Love Her !
Nina Simone Protest anthology – Revolution – Strange fruit
– Published on Jun 24, 2015
– As the Black Lives Matter movement grows across the country and the the nation mourns the death of the nine worshipers killed at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, we look back at the life of one of the most important voices of the civil rights movement: the singer Nina Simone, known as the High Priestess of Soul. While Simone died in 2003, a new documentary, “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” sheds light on her music and politics. Her song “Mississippi Goddam” became an anthem of the civil rights movement. She wrote it in the wake of the assassination of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four black children. We speak to the film’s director, Liz Garbus, and Al Schackman, Nina Simone’s guitarist and music director for over 40 years.
I Am Not Nonviolent”: New Nina Simone Film Captures Singer and Activist’s Uncompromising Voice
Nina Simone Biography
In 1993, Don Shewey wrote of Nina Simone in the Village Voice, “She’s not a pop singer, she’s a diva, a hopeless eccentric … who has so thoroughly co-mingled her odd talent and brooding temperament that she has turned herself into a force of nature, an exotic creature spied so infrequently that every appearance is legendary.”
Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam
Her family by that time had moved to Philadelphia, and she began to give piano lessons. When she discovered that one of her students was playing in a bar in Atlantic City — and being paid more than she was from her piano teaching — she decided to try this route herself. Armed with music from many genres — classical, jazz, popular — she began playing piano in 1954 at the Midtown Bar and Grill in Atlantic City. She adopted the name of Nina Simone to avoid her mother’s religious disapproval of playing in a bar. The bar owner demanded soon that she add vocals to her piano playing, and Nina Simone began to draw large audiences of younger people who were fascinated by her eclectic musical repertoire and style. Soon she was playing in better nightclubs, and moved into the Greenwich Village scene.
By 1957, Nina Simone had found an agent, and the next year issued her first album, “Little Girl Blue.” Her first single, “I Loves You Porgy,” was a George Gershwin song from Porgy and Bess that had been a popular number for Billie Holiday. It sold well, and her recording career was launched. Unfortunately, the contract she signed gave away her rights, a mistake she came to bitterly regret. For her next album she signed with Colpix and released “The Amazing Nina Simone.” With this album came more critical interest.