Nina simone the best of - Bio | The Official Home of Nina Simone

Her stay with Colpix resulted in some wonderful albums – nine in all – included Nina’s version of Bessie Smith’s blues classic “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.” Issued as a single in 1960, it became Nina’s second charted Pop and R&B hit and one of two Colpix tracks to achieve such a feat during her five year stint with the label. Other stand out tracks from that era were the soulful song “Cotton Eyed Joe,” the torch tune “The Other Women,” and the Norwegian folk rendition of “Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair” – all beautiful examples of Nina Simone at her storytelling best, painting a vivid picture with her skill as a lyrical interpreter. During this time with the label, Nina recorded one civil rights song, Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Brown Baby,” which was included on her fifth album for the label, At The Village Gate.

If the America of the sixties was a joke, the America that Simone had imagined in the fifties seemed downright impossible; she was still angered by her rejection from the Curtis School of Music in 1951. Having previously been accepted by a summer program at Juilliard, she felt the decision was based on the color of her skin. With it she ’ d begun to let go of her dream of becoming America ’ s first black concert pianist, shedding her birth name (Eunice Waymon) and moving to Atlantic City, where she became Nina Simone, played cocktail jazz ( “ the devil ’ s music, ” her mother called it), and sang in public for the first time.

Her hairstylist, Vernon Francois, told The Huffington Post, "There's not one particular visual reference which inspired the look. Strong bold structures have always been prevalent in African history and our goal is always to show just how versatile textured hair is. Nina Simone is a excellent cultural reference point, as she was someone who was always very confident with how she wore her hair. We wanted to ensure that the look on the carpet last night was a modern and creative take on traditional style."

Salamishah Tillet is an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, the author of “Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination” and is writing a book on Nina Simone.

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