Nina Simone BY JENNIFER GILMORE (06/20/00)
It is with great delight that I read Jennifer Gilmore's article about Nina Simone. Since I first heard Nina's voice seven years ago, not a single week (and few days) have gone by without my listening to her soulful expression with simultaneous delight and pain in her spectacularly expressive voice. Thank you for providing all the biographical information along with the review. This incredible woman deserves such an excellent review -- part criticism, part praise, all the while expressing the great respect she so well deserves. I hope her daughter, Simone, continues her fantastic legacy in her own unique way.
-- Joe Kunkel
I deeply appreciate your in-depth article about Nina Simone. It has been so very long since we've heard anything from her, or about her. At least we know she is still alive, and performing every now and then. My favorite tune from her is, "Why Don't You Come Up and See Me Sometime?" last heard over the airwaves in Detroit, way back in 1970, as I remember.
It is interesting that so many great singers and pianists came from the western part of North Carolina, i.e., Simone of Tryon, Roberta Flack of Black Mountain, talk show host Star Jones of Badin and a number of other performers in the folk music and classical worlds. As a native North Carolinian, I surmise that this greatness is due to the strict discipline and value system they came from, as well as the emphasis on excellence and quiet success.
My hat is off to you, Salon, for bringing news of Nina Simone back to us in the year 2000. Thank you so much!
-- Flossie Phelps Fisher
I just finished reading Jennifer Gilmore's article on Nina Simone and I must say the article brought back so many memories of my student life at Berkeley in the '60s. I saw Nina Simone perform and remember the tears that washed my face as she worked her magic. Her voice was so emotional and her words were so moving. "Mississippi Goddam" still sends chills up my spin. Nina Simone personifies the sum of the '60s movement. She changed my myopic view of the world and helped me grow into a wiser black man. Her artistry will always be appreciated and remembered in my soul.
-- James M. Franklin
As a big Nina Simone fan, I was disappointed that Gilmore failed to mention her RCA release of 1972 titled "Emergency Ward." It may only contain four songs but this album ranks as one of the 10 greatest records of all time and certainly as one of the greatest live recordings ever made.
-- Mike Barbeau