Tag Archives: Nina Simone

June part II

40 years ago – June 1978

Box office high score trucker movie Convoy starring Kris Kristofferson & Ali MacGraw was released.

That was obviously hugely overshadowed by the release of Romantic musical-comedy Grease released the same month, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The soundtrack as you may well know did rather well too.

Dead Kennedys perform for the first time, Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco

One of my all-time favorite albums was released this month and that is Peter Gabriel’s self-titled 2nd album known as Scratch.

Besides some of Gabriels strongest and most emotional songwriting the albums features a killer cast of musicians: Fripp, Levin, Jerry Marotta, Sid McGinnis, Tim Cappello and others.

The album was produced by Robert Fripp, and part of his trilogy.


50 years ago – June 1968

U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot

Roman Polanski’s psychological horror movie Rosemary’s Baby is released

Anti Việt Cộng and pro Saigon Vietnam war film The Green Berets staring John Wayne was released, the film stirred up some controversy and poor reviews but did fine at the box office.

Pink Floyd released their 2nd studio album “A Saucerful of Secrets”

Otis Redding died Dec. 1967 in an airplane crash, a posthumous studio album somewhat dramatically named  “The Immortal Otis Redding” was released in June 1968, recorded by Redding shortly before his dead.

“Hard to Handle” have been covered by a number of artists since.

American rock band The Black Crowes had a hit with the song as a single from their 1990 debut “Shake Your Money Maker”


60 years ago – June 1958

American restaurant chain Pizza Hut is founded.

Imre Nagy, Prime Minister of Hungary and leader of the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956 brutally brought down by the Soviet invasion, was executed based on charges of treason. In 1989, Imre Nagy was rehabilitated and his remains reburied on the 31st anniversary of his execution.

Nina Simone released her debut album “Little Girl Blue”




Morrissey – Vangelis – Nina Simone

After Aphrodite’s Child
Vangelis started his solo career and have since released a number of highly acclaimed electronic albums ,a series of collaboration with Jon Anderson from Yes, as “Jon & Vangelis” , and music for films and television, earning him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, for the 1981 British drama Chariots of Fire. Vangelis have become one of the early masters of electronic music.
Vangelis also made Music for the futuristic Ridley Scott film Blade Runner (1982). But for various reasons the original soundtrack release was delayed until 1994, despite the music being well-received by fans and critics. Today some think of this soundtrack as being Vangelis finest moment of electronic music.

The saxophone on the track was played by Dick Morrissey.
Richard Edwin “Dick” Morrissey (1940 – 2000) was a British jazz musician and composer. He played the tenor sax, soprano sax and flute. Playing in various Jazz bands and constellations, but mostly known for his British Jazz/rock, as a member of “If” (1969-1975), and later Morrissey- Mullen.
Here we have got his wonderful saxophone, in a more traditional Jazz setting.

Dick Morrissey was also part of – The Animals‘ Big Band, but they made only one public appearance at British Jazz & Blues Festival in Richmond 1965.
The Animals was an English music group , featuring the charismatic front man Eric Burdon. Best known for their version of American traditional “House of the Rising Sun”, the Animals had another major hit in early 60’s with “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. Originally written for Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964.

Nina Simone (1933 –2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist mostly associated with jazz music. She began recording in the late 1950s releasing her first full album in 1958, Simone’s music defied standard genre definitions. Her classical training showed through, no matter what genre of song she played, and she drew from many sources including gospel, pop and folk. She was called the “High Priestess of Soul,” or “jazz singer”. But she did not like any of those labels : “If I had to be called something, it should have been a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in my playing,” she wrote.