Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

How To Buy Nina Simone

Fred Dellar, MOJO, April 1998

IN SOME WAYS, things haven't changed overmuch since Eunice Waymon opted to change her name to Nina Simone so that her mother wouldn't find out that she was playing piano at the Midtown, a seedy Atlantic City bar. Forced to sing after being threatened with dismissal if she didn't, she hastily devised a set of songs, including 'I Loves You Porgy', when a customer brought in Billie Holiday's record of the Gershwin composition and suggested that she might include it in her act. At which point somebody recorded Nina live and released an album without her knowledge. Since then, she's reprised Porgy on countless occasions, her ever-soulful interpretations frequently appearing on live shots of dubious origin. Nothing changes.

Total word count of piece: 939


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.