My Dear Nina Simone on this Happy Friday. I can hardly contain myself and remain in my seat. Every day is a new day sharing treasures, and Nina Simone is the Honorary Jewel of Funk Sanctum Radio, oh and throughout most of my life! I present to you today one of my favorite songs by my all-time favorite artist, Dr. Nina Simone. Your dj just found this video this a.m., searching for Nina Simone “Revolution” which happens to be one of my favorites. I have never seen this footage before and apparently someone has just released previously unreleased Nina footage on YouTube. WOAH!!! Make my day! WOOT! Hey now! Here, I am going to share this with you and help you get your Friday off on the right foot with Nina and me!
I would like you to take a particular note of Nina Simone’s piano playing on this song! If you want to know what “funky piano” is, listen. Feel this. You can’t help but move. God, this woman was amazing. What do you think?
So, instead of promising to write about when I met her later because I’m at work, I’m just going to let this first story rip right now. It was in 1968. Nina Simone was to be appearing in Carbondale, Illinois, at SIU. I drove from Columbia, Missouri, to Carbondale, Illinois, for my first experience of seeing Nina Simone live. She was on her best behavior and went through the entire concert without stopping the band or complaining about the sound or the audience (which I heard her do a lot of later in her career). She turned this place out. I am still in amazement that I was fortunate to witness this. Some people never saw her live. Somehow I made it backstage and there were quite a number of others, too. Nina took a seat at a table to sign autographs. I went and stood next to her. She smiled at me and asked if I wanted an autograph, but I just grinned and mumbled, “No, thank you, I am just happy to be standing by you,” so she let me stand by her for the remainder of her signings.
The backstage groupies were openly adoring her. They told her how much they loved her and loved her music and the concert. Someone then said,
“Miss Simone, I really love your French braids.”With that comment, she stopped dead in her signings. Her entire demeanor changed. I saw Nina flip. This young woman was openly adoring her but she took the time to correct her.
"These are not French braids. Not French. Everyone is trying to now call these French braids. They are African Cornrows and don’t you ever forget it.”Nina did not stop there, but chastised the young woman some more. I can remember feeling a little embarrassed for the woman who I felt was trying to compliment Nina, but I know that from that moment forward she knew and understood what an African Corn-Row was and is. :)
Enjoy this, enjoy life and Happy Funky #FollowFriday, Family!