Pastel Blues is a studio album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was recorded in 1964 and 1965 in New York City and released in 1965 by Philips Records. The name Pastel Blues is somewhat deceiving because the songs on the album incorporate different musical styles besides the blues, such as jazz, soul and folk music. The album was rated the 21st best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.
"Be My Husband" was written by Andrew Stroud, Simone's husband and manager at the time. She sings it a cappella with her handclapping and a hi-hat as her only accompaniment. The song was later retitled as "Be Your Husband" and covered by Jeff Buckley on Live at Sine-é (2003). The song was also covered by Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan on Rice's Live from the Union Chapel, sung by Hannigan while other band members beat on the backs of guitars and other instruments.
"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" was originally sung by Bessie Smith. She was a blues singer in the 1920s/1930s and her songs had a great influence on Simone.