Posts Tagged ‘Nina Simone’

Nina Simone

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Listen: Save Me / Nina Simone
Save Me / Nina Simone

Coincidental but true. Just about every song named ‘Save Me’ ends up a favorite. Despite the fact that most of them share only the title in common.

Not the case with this version. Originally written and recorded by Aretha Franklin and included on her Atlantic album debut, it was Nina Simone’s 7″ version that seemed to fall out of the sky and into my possession within weeks of release. No recollection how or from where, but absolutely sure of the timing. Maybe WMCR included it in one of my weekly allocations, having been serviced a stock copy instead of the almost 100% promo copy only mailings they would usually receive. Regardless, ‘Save Me’ was by far the most swinging Nina Simone single I had yet to hear from her, and I’d heard several by then.

What a surprise when it came up on a Sirius channel during a recent JetBlue flight. If I lived in a car culture city, I’d absolutely be a subscriber.

Gloria Lynne

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Watermelon Man / Gloria Lynne

Listen: Watermelon Man / Gloria Lynne
Watermelon Man / Gloria Lynne

Michael Alago and I worked together at Elektra for ages. We’d first met when he booked The Ritz a few years prior. The great times and mischief we got up to at that label, it’s an HBO series waiting to happen. Michael’s one of the great A&R people out there as well, having signed Metallica, Alan Vega, White Zombie, Nina Simone. It’s pretty hard to top his track record.

There was a moment when we were sent on a mission to find some classic artists for a series of Nonesuch jazz releases, those that might still be active, but hadn’t recorded in a while. This was a perfect reason to have an extended champagne lunch at BicĂ© on the company card and brainstorm a list. Gloria Lynne came to mind. After a few phone calls, we found she managed herself and got her home number from the fellow who booked The Blue Note at the time, name escapes me. Turns out her’s was the exact same as Michael’s, bar the last digit.

In those days, we used to get back to one of our places, four or five in the morning, fresh from another night at Danceteria or The Ritz, still ready to go; seriously. Sad but true. We’d often dial her number up to that very last digit, deciding it was time to make the call, then chickening out. Thankfully.

Check out her rap at the end of ‘Watermelon Man’. This is so blatant, so nasty. Lil’ Kim has nothing on her.