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Nina Simone Dead at 70
April 21, 2003 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Jazz and protest singer Nina Simone is dead at age 70.
posted by turbodog (45 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
:-(
posted by jpoulos at 2:16 PM on April 21, 2003


This is tragic. I don't know what to say.
posted by waxpancake at 2:19 PM on April 21, 2003


Sigh. She was one of my favorite jazz vocalists. I can listen to My Baby Just Cares for Me on infinite repeat.
posted by turbodog at 2:20 PM on April 21, 2003


Very, very sad. She will, however, live forever through her work.
*puts 'Feelin Good' on the stereo, presses repeat button*
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:20 PM on April 21, 2003


Nooo! At our house she's a goddess and always on the stereo. Tracy's gonna be so sad!
posted by zarah at 2:23 PM on April 21, 2003


Audiosyncratic. An interview with Nina Simone.
'Eclectic is much too small a word for Nina Simone. As a pianist, singer and composer, her music is the richest possible mix of just about everything - classical, folk, gospel, blues, R 'n' B and soul. She calls it black classical music - "jazz is a white term used to define black people" - and when you're in a room with Dr. Simone, you learn very quickly that everything will be discussed in (and on) her terms ... '

Mississippi Goddam.
posted by plep at 2:24 PM on April 21, 2003


Where you gonna run to?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:26 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:28 PM on April 21, 2003


God. This has upset me more than I would ever have imagined. I'm going to bed.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:31 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2003


I really, really, really wish the American Routes radio program had their recent-ish Nina Simone interview online. She was as fiery as ever.
posted by turbodog at 2:40 PM on April 21, 2003


Geez, it was only two weeks ago that I was praising her here on the blue and now she's gone.

About three years ago she went on a mini-tour of the U.S., her first visit to the states since she famously exiled herself to France in the early 80s. The closest she came to me was Chicago, and I was kicking myself for not getting the chance to see her. I feel even worse today.

She was the real thing, one of the most talented singers and pianists of the past century. She'll be missed.
posted by turaho at 2:41 PM on April 21, 2003


I didn't realise she was still alive, but I'm very sad to hear that she's died. A great, great voice.

What a report... they asked all her publisists team, but still didn't suggest how she died. *sigh*

Time for some Jazz I feel...
posted by twine42 at 2:51 PM on April 21, 2003


Now I really, really regret not seeing her at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga a year or so ago. I was surprised that she was still putting on shows. I think I have more Nina Simone CDs than any other performer.
posted by robbie01 at 2:53 PM on April 21, 2003


That's so sad. I hadn't imagined Nina Simone dying. :(
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:58 PM on April 21, 2003


you may dig on the rolling stones / but they could never ever rock like nina simone
posted by jcruelty at 3:04 PM on April 21, 2003


she was wonderful!
posted by amberglow at 3:06 PM on April 21, 2003


C'mon, she was 70.
posted by xmutex at 3:12 PM on April 21, 2003


Hush your troll self, xmutex.
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:19 PM on April 21, 2003


You hear me
I put a spell on you
Because you're mine


I'll always be yours Nina
posted by roboto at 3:23 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by dazed_one at 3:48 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:57 PM on April 21, 2003


"If I Could Lose You" -- that's what I'll be playing tonight. Man. Jesus.

Simone was one of the last jazz greats. And, yes, the idea of her dying was a completely foreign concept to me. Her voice was unlike any other: familiar and yet sometimes difficult to trace, a wise elder one minute and downright young and playful the next. She had the voice that sounded as if it would go on forever, a visceral companion that would accompany you through the ages, reminding you that ultimately what mattered was the human heart, whether caught in mirth or misery. And now she's gone.

Her loss is incomprehensible. And for those who only know her for "My Baby Just Cares For Me," how I envy you for touching her sizable canon for the first time.
posted by ed at 3:59 PM on April 21, 2003


Damn. A light goes out.
posted by jokeefe at 4:01 PM on April 21, 2003


poop. my day is ruined now.
posted by Stynxno at 4:15 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by transient at 4:35 PM on April 21, 2003


I think I have more Nina Simone CDs than any other performer.

I know I do. Wild is the Wind breaks me every time.
posted by troybob at 4:36 PM on April 21, 2003


I only started listening to Nina Simone about six months ago after a colleague reccomended her, so I haven't had that long a history of listening to her, but I was still shocked and saddened to hear of her passing. Yes, plep, Mississippi Goddamn is one of my favourites too.
posted by Jimbob at 4:54 PM on April 21, 2003


In the dark...
there's just you and I.


.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:58 PM on April 21, 2003


I have a really crackly 30 year old vinyl copy of her version of "To Love Somebody". It sounds fucking fantastic. My housemate has it on CD, but it's the crackles and pops that make it for me. It's a good song to curl up in the dark with your baby to.

Also, I took it out to DJ with at a Valentine's Day ball a couple of years back. It was the first song I ever played out that made some a couple kiss.

I think that says it all.
posted by tapeguy at 5:38 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by squared at 5:58 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by Tarrama at 6:50 PM on April 21, 2003


"I Want Some Sugar in My Bowl" is on at least four CD collections around here. Three minutes or so of the absolute divine there, and I'm not foolin'. There's little to nothing else that comes close. Sad news.
posted by raysmj at 6:55 PM on April 21, 2003


Excuse me, the whole title is "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl."
posted by raysmj at 7:00 PM on April 21, 2003


some days it is bittersweet to be a dj.
I heard about this with twenty minutes left in my show today, and managed to get on "Who Am I?", "I Love to Love" and her absolutely fabulous cover of the Jacques Brel song "The Desperate Ones".

The best. The Queen is dead.
posted by jann at 8:34 PM on April 21, 2003


The way she took in a whole breadth of other people's songs and made them her own, so that you couldn't hear them in anybody else's voice after.

Wow. Bad news at the end of the day.
posted by BT at 8:37 PM on April 21, 2003


The way she took in a whole breadth of other people's songs and made them her own, so that you couldn't hear them in anybody else's voice after.

I agree, she did some fantastic Dylan cover versions. Obviously, nobody could touch the originals, but Simone's renditions were still far above her peers.

There's a quote in the blurb on the back of this record sleeve: "Nina Simone Walks In Musical Grandeur Where Few Others Dare Stray." - what a fine sentence. You won't hear people talking about Limp Bizkit like that nowadays. Not even the record labels truely believe that the artists 'walk in musical grandeur'.
posted by tapeguy at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2003


.
posted by black8 at 11:27 PM on April 21, 2003


To get a sense of just how courageous she was, try this informative overview of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in the spring of 1965. Tear gas, beatings, killings...and there she was, singing to 30,000 people in the thick of it.

Also, her hometown newspaper's obit (she was from Tryon, NC) has some interesting details about her early experiences of racial discrimination.
posted by mediareport at 12:01 AM on April 22, 2003


.
posted by NekulturnY at 1:03 AM on April 22, 2003


Thank you for this, Nina Simone.
posted by hama7 at 5:12 AM on April 22, 2003


.
posted by lumpley at 7:19 AM on April 22, 2003


.
posted by zpousman at 7:44 AM on April 22, 2003


"I'm going back to New York City. I do believe I've had enough."

from "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues" written by Bob Dylan and magnificently sung by herself.
posted by divrsional at 8:37 AM on April 22, 2003


It has been pointed out to me that folks might not get the point about the page I linked above on Selma. I thought the fondling of buttocks at the bottom and overall tone would make it clear, but just in case, it's a - cough - rather racist modern take on the events of that week. I tried the same thing (too clever by half) on my blog, and it didn't work there, either. Apologies for the confusion.
posted by mediareport at 1:14 PM on April 22, 2003


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