February 22 2011
Monday was Nina Simone's birthday, so I found it fitting to explore her music this week on Seven o'clock Sample.
Nina Simone is one of those artists that is often credited as an inspiration to many of my favorite musicians. She's your favorite singer's favorite singer. Her personal history speaks volumes to the artist she became, and the impact she had on music.
She was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, and studied classical piano throughout her youth. She wanted to be to become the first black concert pianist, but the realities of poverty and racial prejudice forced her to reconsider. She studied music, but was forced "underground" into the jazz clubs to make a living through music. With a bit of irony, Jazz music was what she was best known for.
She released her first album in 1958. In the 1960s, her music became more focused on civil rights themes and political activism. In 1964 she released BROADWAY-BLUES-BALLADS on Phillips. This album contained one of her best known staples, "See Line Woman".
This song had become one of Nina's staples. She'd often perform the song in her live show.
It's also been sampled by many artists, including Kanye West on his 2008 album 808s an d Heartbreaks.