Jazz Record Center

Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue - Bethlehem



Little Girl Blue is the debut album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone (19332003) for Bethlehem Records. It was also released as Jazz as Played in an Exclusive Side Street Club. Nina was in her mid-20s at the time of this album, and still aspiring to be a classical concert pianist. She immediately sold the rights for the songs on this album to Bethlehem for $3,000. In the end, this cost her royalty profits of more than a million dollars.[2] Simone was dissatisfied by the lack of effort the record company took in promoting her, and after this album she went over for a long relationship with Colpix Records. The album Nina Simone and Her Friends was released after she left, without her consent, and comprised songs that were left over from the Little Girl Blue recording session.

The original 1958 album was released in mono, but a second issue the following year, by Bethlehem Records

"I Loves You Porgy", from George Gershwin's opera Porgy & Bess. This was the song that started Simone's career. The single became her only Billboard top 20 hit in the United States. "Mood Indigo", also featured on Let It All Out. "Love Me or Leave Me" featured on the soundtrack of Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998), also features on Let It All Out. "Plain Gold Ring" was later covered by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, White Magic[3] and New Zealand singer Kimbra. Simone's version was also incorporated into the song Deadly Species by Alif Tree for their album French Cuisine. "My Baby Just Cares for Me" was Simone's biggest hit. It was one of the last songs she recorded during the session, because the record label wanted an uptempo song to finish with. The fairly obscure song became a hit when it was re-released in 1987, after it had featured in a UK commercial for the Chanel No.5 perfume. It helped the almost forgotten Simone back into the limelight. "Central Park Blues" was created and recorded in a single take. The record company needed another song so Simone drew inspiration from a photo shoot earlier in the day at Central Park. "Little Girl Blue" is a modern example of a quodlibet. In this case Simone combined the Rodgers and Hart melody and lyrics with the melody of the popular carol "Good King Wenceslas".

Track listing "Mood Indigo" - (Duke Ellington, Barney Bigard, Irving Mills) "Don't Smoke in Bed" - (Willard Robison) "He Needs Me" - (Arthur Hamilton) "Little Girl Blue" - (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) "Love Me or Leave Me" - (Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn) "My Baby Just Cares for Me" - (Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn) "Good Bait" (instrumental) - (Count Basie,Tadd Dameron) "Plain Gold Ring" - (George Stone) "You'll Never Walk Alone" (instrumental) - (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II) "I Loves You Porgy" - (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) "Central Park Blues" (instrumental) - (Nina Simone)

Personnel Nina Simone - vocals, piano, arrangements Jimmy Bond - bass Tootie Heath - drums

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