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(electronic music)
(tape rewinding)
(tape recorder clicking)
(smooth piano music)
- [Lilian Terry] I have a feeling that
evening gowns are your weakness.
- [Nina Simone] Well, clothes period.
(laughing)
I love clothes.
- [Lilian Terry] You love clothes.
- [Nina Simone] Yes, I do.
I mean, if you come out,
and you look the way you want to look,
you will create a mood before you open your mouth,
And sometimes, that can be enough to
get your audience exactly in the groove,
where you want them.
(smooth piano music)
Like last year, I wore the same gown for a year,
everywhere I went.
I wanted people to remember me, looking a certain way.
It made it easier for me.
- [Lilian Terry] What was the gown like?
- [Nina Simone] It was a black, crocheted,
fishnet jumpsuit, with a flesh colored lining.
So when I came on stage...
- [Lilian Terry] Oh, yes.
- [Nina Simone] The illusion was that I was actually naked.
I loved that.
It always, kind of shocked people enough
that they became mine immediately.
- [Lilian Terry] Yes!
(laughing)
(boisterous piano solo)
- [Nina Simone] Since I was three
I've been playing the piano, I've been onstage.
My mother is an Evangelist and I used to play
the piano at her revival meetings.
- [Lilian Terry] Yes, you have one daughter?
- [Nina Simone] Yes, I have one daughter.
- [Lilian Terry] How old is she?
- [Nina Simone] She's five.
She'll be six in September.
- [Lilian Terry] I see, and does she play the piano?
Does she like music?
- [Nina Simone] Oh, she loves music.
We’ll sit at the piano, when she's in the mood
and pick out our own songs.
She dances fantastic.
And she mimics me all the time,
and has the nerve to tell me when I'm wrong.
When I sing, the lyrics are wrong, she'll tell me.
She's very, very talented.
- [Lilian Terry] That's good.
- [Nina Simone] But it's fun to her,
and I want to keep it that way.
- [Lilian Terry] There was one song, you sang in Newport.
The one that starts,
listing the various things you haven't got.
- [Nina Simone] Oh, yes.
That's Ain't Got No, and I Got Life.
Two titles to the tune. - [Lilian Terry] Yes.
- [Nina Simone] It is from a new Broadway play called Hair.
- [Lilian Terry] Do you remember the words?
Of course you do. - [Nina Simone] Yes.
It says "I ain't got no home.
"Ain't got no shoes.
"Ain't got no money.
"Ain't got no class.
"No faith, no mind.
"Ain't got no God."
("Ain't Got No/I Got Life" by Nina Simone)
Then the song stops, and then it says
"Well, what have you got?"
♫ I got my hair
♫ I got my head ♫
So you get the two pictures, right there.
Really, in these days, in these hard times,
is you must be grateful that you are surviving.
That you have your health.
(jazzy piano music)
- [Lilian Terry] And of course,
the last song you sang was very beautiful.
- [Nina Simone] The King Of Love Is Dead.
- [Lilian Terry] The King Of Love Is Dead.
- [Nina Simone] Now, that's composed by my bass player.
Dr. King was killed on Thursday
and Gene Taylor composed that tune Friday.
So it was completely inspired.
In a narrative way, it is a folk song.
"Why was he killed?
"It was bigotry that sealed his fate.
"You can shed your tears, but they won't change a thing.
"Will my country ever learn, must it kill at every turn?
"We have to know what the consequences
"of these acts will bring."
♫ Folks you'd better stop and think ♫
And then it says ""Folks, you'd better stop and think.
"'Cause we're all heading for the brink."
Which is the truth.
"What will happen now, that the king of love is dead?"
♫ What's gonna happen? ♫
So the song is extremely powerful there.
There's no conclusion, it just leaves you up in the air.
- [Lilian Terry] Yes.
- [Nina Simone] It's a good time for
black people to be alive.
It's a lot of hell, a lot of violence,
but I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life.
I have a chance to live, as I've dreamed.
- [Lilian Terry] Do you think that your child
will be living through the revolutionary years?
- [Nina Simone] I don't know, love.
Whatever it is she's going to
have pride in her own blackness.
She's going to have a chance to be more than
just somebody who's on the outside looking in.
Like it's been for most of us, and my parents before me,
but she may see more bloodshed
than I've ever even dreamed of.
I have no way of knowing that evolution.
The cycle goes round, and round.
It's time for us.
(smooth piano music)
- [Voiceover] This episode is sponsored by Dropbox.
Whether you're designing, presenting, writing, or building
Dropbox makes it simple to work together on any file,
because if you can work with anyone,
anywhere, anyway you want,
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Now, back to the interview.
- [Lilian Terry] Why don't you come to Italy on vacation?
- [Nina Simone] Well, you're sweet love,
but you're the only one I know there,
and I don't like to go to strange places.
I was in Italy for about five hours on my way to Africa.
And I got pinched.
- [Lilian Terry] At the airport.
- [Nina Simone] Yeah.
(laughing)
I did, I liked it.
I really did, right there in the airport.
(laughing)
- [Lilian Terry] Let's say arrivederci.
- [Nina Simone] Arrivederci.
- [Lilian Terry] You know what that means.
- [Nina Simone] Of course I do.
- [Lilian Terry] Yes.
Bye-bye.
- [Nina Simone] Bye.
(smooth, jazzy music)
(tape rewinding)
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Nina Simone on Shock | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

103 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on September 20, 2016
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