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

Dinah Shore: The Gypsy (1946)

Dinah Shore: The Gypsy (1946)

Here's a pub quiz question for you: What was so remarkable about the song The Gypsy in the year 1946? And the answer isn't that it's sentimental pop. That was an odd... > Read more

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Hard to know where you might start with Sonny Bono, the Republican politician who was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. He was of course much more than that and in his late 20s he worked... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Chris Macro: Macro-Dubplates Vol III; Brooklyn vs Kingston (chrismacro.com)

Chris Macro: Macro-Dubplates Vol III; Brooklyn vs Kingston (chrismacro.com)

Those who like a good mash-up won't want to go past this collection by New Zealand producer Chris Macro, formerly of the excellent but short-lived Dubious Brothers (just one album, the excellent... > Read more

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; AMIN ALAEV OF THE ALAEV FAMILY INTERVIEWED (Tajikistan)

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; AMIN ALAEV OF THE ALAEV FAMILY INTERVIEWED (Tajikistan)

Interviewing world music artists is often interesting, sometimes fun and frequently frustrating. Speaking to Amin Alaev of the Alaev Family – who play the Taranaki Womad – is all... > Read more