FEELING GOOD…

It has been a long while since I had a favorite band or artist.  My music choice is not limited to a single genre.  I used to listen to metal, rock, R’N’B, pop, rap….  Let just say that I am happy with iTunes where I am able to pick and choose whatever moves me and/or grab my attention at a given moment.  However, there are some songs that continue to be among my favorites throughout the years.  One of these songs is “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone.  I like this song because just as its title suggests it makes me feel good.  This song’s had many renditions over the years.  It was performed by Muse, Michael Bubble, Easels, and George Michael.  It is also one of those songs that appear regularly on many talent shows and it is often butchered by many aspiring artists.

 

 

Feeling Good was originally recorded by Nina Simone and appeared on her 1965 album titled I put a spell on you I put a spell on you is another one of my favorite.   Nina Simone’s story is as fascinating as her music.  She was born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina in 1933.  Her musical genius revealed itself very early.  She started to play piano at age 3.  Her extraordinary ability to play by ear was quickly recognized by her parents and she received classical training that sparked her love for such classic composers as Bach, Schubert, Chopin, and Beethoven.  Indeed, her goal was to become a classical pianist.  The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia rejected her application (Simone believed that this decision was motivated by racism).  This event forced her to become a music teacher and a bar singer.  She was discovered at age 24 and signed to the Jazz label – Bethlehem Records.  However, it would be a mistake to classify Simone as a jazz singer.  Simone commented: “critics started to talk about what sort of music I was playing and tried to find a neat slot to file it away in. It was difficult for them because I was playing popular songs in a classical style with a classical piano technique influenced by cocktail jazz. On top of that I included spirituals and children’s song in my performances, and those sorts of songs were automatically identified with the folk movement. So, saying what sort of music I played gave the critics problems because there was something from everything in there, but it also meant I was appreciated across the board – by jazz, folk, pop and blues fans as well as admirers of classical music.”  The topics of her songs were equally diverse.  On one hand, she is known for her soulful jazzy compositions that speak of love and passion.  On the other hand, she used her music to express her dissatisfaction and even anger with the social ills of the American society in 1960’s such as injustice and racism.  Mississipi Goddam was a response to the Alabama bombing and death of Medgar Evers and it was forbidden in the South. Four Women is another powerful song that addressed social issues of her era.  Nina Simone had an amazing music career and her music still makes those who listen to it think, reflect, or just …feel good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJA69C6SlRk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiAtwQZnHs

 

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