Nina Simone in Concert

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Nina Simone in Concert
Live album by Nina Simone
Released 1964
Recorded New York City live at Carnegie Hall March 21, April 1 & 6 1964
Genre Vocal, soul, jazz, folk
Length 35:31
Label Philips
Producer Hal Mooney
Nina Simone chronology
Nina Simone with Strings
(1966)
Nina Simone in Concert
(1964)
Broadway-Blues-Ballads
(1964)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Nina Simone in Concert is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was her first album for the record label Philips and was made up of three live recordings in Carnegie Hall, New York City in March and April 1964 (previously, she had recorded Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall in 1963 for Colpix Records). This album marks the beginning of "Nina Simone, the Civil Rights singer" in her recording career (she had already incorporated the civil rights message in her performances). Included on the album are politically laden songs, most notably the self-written "Mississippi Goddam", released as a single at the time. But also "Old Jim Crow", "Go Limp" and the haunting "Pirate Jenny" contributed to the message in a covert or metaphorical way.

Information about songs on this album[edit]

  • Nina originally recorded "I Loves You Porgy", "Plain Gold Ring" and "Don't Smoke in Bed" on her debut album Little Girl Blue (1958).
  • "Pirate Jenny" was originally from Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. Simone used the story within the song as a metaphor for the civil rights situation at that time. She performed it only rarely, even though the theatrical piece became one of her signature tunes.[2] It took too much of her energy, stating once that one time after singing it, she had to recover from the performance for about seven years.[citation needed]
  • "Old Jim Crow", a protest song against the Jim Crow Laws.
  • "Go Limp", a humorous Folk song about a girl who is warned by her mother not to join the NAACP because it would cost her virginity. Halfway through the song Nina forgets the lyrics and makes up some in return, being given a standing ovation by the crowd at the end.
  • "Mississippi Goddam", a self-written protest song. Nina states a minute into the song after a chorus, a verse and a chorus:

This is a showtune but the show hasn't been written for it yet...

While laughing, the primarily white audience realizes that it is far from a happy showtune, but a cynical Civil Rights protest song, talking about the death of Medgar Evers and the killing of four schoolgirls at the Alabama Church Bombing in 1963.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Loves You Porgy" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) - 2:30
  2. "Plain Gold Ring" (Earl Burroughs) - 6:21
  3. "Pirate Jenny" (Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Marc Blitzstein) - 6:37
  4. "Old Jim Crow" (Nina Simone, Jackie Alper, Ron Vander Groef) - 2:38
  5. "Don't Smoke in Bed" (Willard Robison) - 5:28
  6. "Go Limp" (Alex Comfort, Simone) - 7:04
  7. "Mississippi Goddam" (Simone) - 4:54

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart 1964 Peak position
Billboard 200 102[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Hampton. Break Down And Let It All Out. pp. 196–197. 
  3. ^ full lyrics of "Mississippi Goddam" at boscarol.com
  4. ^ "Nina Simone". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-07.