Nina Simone: Backlash Blues (1967)

 |   |  <1 min read

Nina Simone: Backlash Blues (1967)

Nina Simone was a rare one: she was classically trained, a political activist, furiously intolerant and increasingly strange and self-serving as her life rolled on. And that's just the broad strokes.

She was also something of a genius when it came to marrying blues, politics, soul, gospel and jazz. It is hard to think of anyone who has followed in her footsteps.

This song from the late Sixties has lyrics by her friend, the poet Langston Hughes. It was one of the last poems of his life.

He never lived to see the backlash which came as the protests against American involvement in Vietnam became more strident, the ghettos exploded, MLK and RFK were assassinated in that extraordinary year '68, black politics became increasingly militant . . .

When the backlash came it wasn't blue . . . but red with rage. 

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Johnny Cash: Peace in the Valley (date unknown)

Johnny Cash: Peace in the Valley (date unknown)

Johnny Cash died 10 years ago and, as expected, there have been tributes and considerations of his long, diverse career. And of course his position as a Mt Rushmore-like figure in American music... > Read more

The Beach Boys: Wouldn't It Be Nice (vocals only, 1966)

The Beach Boys: Wouldn't It Be Nice (vocals only, 1966)

In our recent interview with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their classic Pet Sounds album, we noted that while accepting he was the genius in the band he... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Orchestra of Spheres: Nonagonic Now (Sound Explorers)

Orchestra of Spheres: Nonagonic Now (Sound Explorers)

This rhythm-driven four-piece from Wellington is one part early Talking Heads (or the Feelies as a jazz ensemble), a slug of Sun Ra if he'd come from South East Asia and not Saturn, some seriously... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: From Scratch: Five Rhythm Works (EM)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: From Scratch: Five Rhythm Works (EM)

Although not strictly the reissue of a specific album, this collection put together (with approval) by a Japanese enthusiast and with excellent liner notes by Andrew Clifford picks up five pieces... > Read more