Synopses & Reviews
A gorgeous, inimitable singer and songwriter, Nina Simone (1933-2003) changed the face of both music and race relations in America. She struck a chord with bluesy jazz ballads like "Put a Little Sugar in My Bowl" and powerful protest songs such as "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," the anthem of the American Civil Rights movement. Coinciding with the re-release of her famous Philips Recordings, here are the reflections of the "High Priestess of Soul" on her own life.
Lincoln Center Institute Resource Center blog, 7/9/09
“Compelling, honest, and powerful. It is meticulously packed with historical information on America during some of its ugliest times, coming from the voice of someone who lived through it everyday…a voice of a woman who devoted her adult life to changing the face of society…From a musical standpoint alone, I Put a Spell On You is an extremely valuable read. However, this would also be a unique, relevant and worthwhile addition to any high-school or collegiate history library, or anyone with an interest in the civil rights movement both politically and artistically.”
The inimitable, gorgeously talented Nina Simone (1933-2003)--the "high priestess of soul"--sets the story of her tumultuous, passionate life straight in I Put a Spell on You.
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small-town North Carolina, Nina Simone changed the face of both music and race relations in America. She struck a chord with bluesy jazz ballads like "Put a Little Sugar in My Bowl" and powerful protest songs such as "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," the anthem of the American Civil Rights movement.
Here are the many lives and loves of Nina Simone, recounted in her unshakable voice.
James Baldwin used to tell Nina Simone, "This is the world you have made for yourself, now you have to live in it." Simone has created for herself a world of magnificent peaks. Often compared to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, Simone is known as one of the greatest singers of her generation. She has recorded forty-three albums, ranging from blues to jazz to folk, and her hits like "I Loves You, Porgy," "My Baby Just Cares for Me," "I Put a Spell on You," and "Mississippi Goddam" have confirmed her as an enduring force in popular music. Her song "Young, Gifted, and Black" became the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and thrust her beyond international stardom into the center of activism. But such worlds as Simone's are not without their grim valleys: disastrous marriages, arrest and the threat of imprisonment, mental breakdown, poverty, and attempted suicide. She has survived these trials and continues to perform throughout Europe and the United States. With undiminished passion and in her unconquerable voice, this is Nina Simone's powerful memoir of her tempestuous life.
The mesmerizing autobiography of one of the most revered soul, jazz, and blues divas of our time-the late Nina Simone