Listen: Stoned Soul Picnic / Laura Nyro
Stoned Soul Picnic / Laura Nyro
It was hard not to notice the writer credit of Nyro in brackets below some of the most hybrid of song styles in the late 60′s and early 70′s. Always choosing to shy from the spotlight, which included endless TV appearance requests, gave Laura Nyro a mystique as attractive as her obvious grasp of everything from gospel to show tunes. Despite delivering her recordings in a brash neo-operatic vocal style, she was still full of soul.
Being the seldom mentioned, unsung performer at ’67′s infamous Monterey Festival is what really caught my attention. Why was everyone focused on all the other acts? Why was she never included in the footage? Every one of her early Verve Forecast releases and this, her debut Columbia single, became secret treasures. I badly wanted to see her the one weekend she played The Fillmore East, but it wasn’t to be.
In later years, Laura Nyro dedicated much of her time and money to the animal rights movement. Don DeVito at Columbia was very close to her, and spoke often of her kind and tender heart.