How Grateful I Will Be (Otis Redding, 1962)

The exact meaning of “soul music” requires a deeper investigation. For now though, we might consider it rather literally, as music that is borne from, and also at once moves, the soul — that primordial, inexplicable spirit that injects life into all things seen, heard, and witnessed. It’s music that is unfiltered and honest, completely open to our…

The Sweet Things You Do (Nina Simone, 1968)

The most recent account of the career of Nina Simone comes through a Netflix original documentary entitled What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015) What stands out to many about her is a fierce, sometimes graphic theme to her songs. A month after Martin Luther King gave his iconic speech in the summer of 1963, four girls in Alabama…

fun fact!

Eunice Waymon, rejected by the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia after training at Julliard in New York and dejected by the thought that she would never fulfill her dream of becoming the first African American woman to perform in Carnegie Hall, began playing in New Jersey in bars and clubs to help her family make ends meet.  Miss Waymon picked a stage…