There’s music for every mood, and this week Laura Nyro has been the soundtrack of my days with her beautiful, clear voice wafting through in her unique bluesy, jazzy style.
Born Laura Nigro in 1947 in the Bronx to an Italian musician father and a Jewish social progressive mother, she was still a teenager when she sold her first song And When I Die, which later was a big hit for Blood Sweat & Tears. Stone Soul Picnic and Eli’s Comin’ are other well-known works of hers. Personally, I enjoy rather many of her slower-tempo, less-well-known compositions like Emmie and Billie’s Blues.
I hold a special place for her sparkling, soulful covers of 50-60s era pop songs such as Spanish Harlem, Up on the Roof, It’s Gonna Take a Miracle, Dedicated To the One I Love, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Let It Be Me, La La Means I Love You, and Desiree, many of which were recorded with Patti Labelle and her vocal group. It doesn’t get any better than their lilting harmonizing on The Bells.
Sadly, Laura Nyro died all too young, as did her mother, both at age 49 from ovarian cancer. Tomorrow would have been her 66th birthday. She left behind a treasure trove of material, to be discovered and enjoyed all over again by those yet to come.