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

Nico: I'll Keep It With Mine (1967)

Nico: I'll Keep It With Mine (1967)

When the statuesque Nico was introduced into Velvet Underground by Andy Warhol, she was fresh from a relationship with Bob Dylan and was keen to record this song he had written. However she... > Read more

Joan Baez: James and the Gang (1987)

Joan Baez: James and the Gang (1987)

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Baez has written very few original songs but after her painful separation in '73 from her activist husband David Harris – who had been... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN DANIEL BOOBYER on being old school and making a vinyl record

GUEST MUSICIAN DANIEL BOOBYER on being old school and making a vinyl record

My new release Time Killed The Clock was sort of an unplanned birth. It mysteriously crept into existence with the first track of the same title being recorded on my trusty Pioneer cassette... > Read more