Night Lights Classic Jazz

Here Comes The Sun: Nina Simone On RCA

In late 1966 singer and pianist Nina Simone signed with RCA Records and continued her genre-bending explorations of jazz, blues, pop, folk, and soul.

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In late 1966 the fiercely individualistic singer and pianist Nina Simone signed with RCA Records and continued her genre-bending explorations of jazz, blues, pop, folk, and soul, recording songs such as Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “The Look of Love,” Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” civil-rights anthems such as “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” and occasional standards such as Hoagy Carmichael’s “I Get Along Without You Very Well.” We hear all of those and more in this program; a previous Night Lights program, Four Women, features Simone’s mid-1960s Philips recordings. You can also watch Nina Simone performing “Young, Gifted and Black” and “Ain’t Got No… I Got Life” at the Central Park Harlem Festival in 1969:

Music Heard On This Episode

Ain't Got No/I Got Life
Nina Simone — Silk and Soul (RCA, 1967)
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Ain't Got No/I Got Life
Nina Simone — Silk and Soul (RCA, 1967)

Notes: Song from the musical HAIR.

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The Look of Love
Nina Simone — Sugar In My Bowl: 1967-72 (RCA, 1967)

Notes: Burt Bacharach-Hal David song.

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In the Dark
Nina Simone — Nina Simone Sings the Blues (RCA, 1967)

Notes: Lil Green song.

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Consummation
Nina Simone — Silk and Soul (RCA, 1967)

Notes: Nina Simone composition.

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Backlash Blues
Nina Simone — Nina Simone Sings the Blues (RCA, 1967)

Notes: Co-written with Langston Hughes.

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I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
Nina Simone — Silk and Soul (RCA, 1967)

Notes: co-written by Billy Taylor.

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Do What You Gotta Do
Nina Simone — Sugar In My Bowl: the Very Best of Nina Simone 1967-72. (RCA, 1968)

Notes: Written by Jimmy Webb.

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Suzanne
Nina Simone — Sugar In My Bowl: the Very Best of Nina Simone 1967-72. (RCA, 1969)

Notes: Written by Leonard Cohen.

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Isn't a Pity?
Nina Simone — Emergency Ward (RCA, 1972)

Notes: midpoint music bed.

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I Get Along Without You Very Well
Nina Simone — Nina Simone & Piano! (RCA, 1968)

Notes: Hoagy Carmichael song.

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I Think It's Going to Rain Today
Nina Simone — Nina Simone & Piano! (RCA, 1968)

Notes: Randy Newman song.

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To Love Somebody
Nina Simone — To Love Somebody (RCA, 1969)

Notes: Written by Barry & Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

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Here Comes the Sun
Nina Simone — Here Comes the Sun (RCA, 1971)

Notes: George Harrison song.

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I Shall Be Released
Nina Simone — To Love Somebody (RCA, 1969)

Notes: Bob Dylan song.

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Compassion
Nina Simone — Sugar In My Bowl: the Very Best of Nina Simone 1967-72. (RCA, 1968)

Notes: Poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, set to music by Nina Simone.

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Ooh Child
Nina Simone — Sugar In My Bowl: the Very Best of Nina Simone 1967-72. (RCA, 1971)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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