Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Feb 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
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Born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina Simone (1933-2003) began her musical life playing classical piano. A child prodigy, she wanted a career on the concert stage, but when the Curtis Institute of Music rejected her, the devastating disappointment compelled her to change direction. She turned to popular music and jazz but never abandoned her classical roots or her intense ambition. By the age of twenty six, Simone had sung at New York City's venerable Town Hall and was on her way. Tapping into newly unearthed material on Simone's family and career, Nadine Cohodas paints a luminous portrait of the singer, highlighting her tumultuous life, her innovative compositions, and the prodigious talent that matched her ambition.
With precision and empathy, Cohodas weaves the story of Simone's contentious relationship with audiences and critics, her outspoken support for civil rights, her two marriages and her daughter, and, later, the sense of alienation that drove her to live abroad from 1993 until her death. Alongside these threads runs a more troubling one: Simone's increasing outbursts of rage and pain that signaled mental illness and a lifelong struggle to overcome a deep sense of personal injustice.

 

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Nina Simone, the "High Priestess of Soul", is undoubtedly one of the greatest 20th century musicians in American history, and an immensely talented artist who was impossible to place in a single ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
1 Called For and Delivered June 1898February 1933
5
2 We Knew She Was a Genius March 1933August 1941
16
3 Miss Mazzy September 1941August 1947
29
4 We Have Launched Where Shall We Anchor? September 1947May 1950
39
5 Prelude to a Fugue June 1950May 1954
48
6 The Arrival of Nina Simone June 1954June 1956
60
7 Little Girl Blue July 1956December 1958
71
18 To Be Young Gifted and Black 1969
222
19 I Have Become More Militant 1970
238
20 Definite Vibrations of Pride 1971
250
21 This Aint No Geraldine Up Here 1972
265
22 Where My Soul Has Gone 19731976
275
23 I Am Not of This Planet 19771978
286
24 Loving Me Is Not Enough 19791981
301
25 Fodder on Her Wings 19821988
314

8 A Fast Rising Star 1959
80
9 Simoneized 1960
91
10 You Cant Let Them Humiliate You January 1961December 13 1961
107
11 Respect December 14 1961December 1962
121
12 Mississippi Goddam 1963
133
13 Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood 1964
148
14 My Skin Is Black 1965
163
15 Images 1966
182
16 My Only Groove Is Moods 1967
195
17 Black Gold 1968
206
26 Ninas Back Again 19891992
336
27 A Single Woman 19931999
348
28 The Final Curtain 20002003
362
Notes
375
Nina Simone Briefly on CDDVD
417
Bibliography
419
Acknowledgments
425
Index
429
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Nadine Cohodas is the author of, among other books, Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington.

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