Nina Simone

An image of Nina Simone
Jack Robinson / Getty Images

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. On this episode, HC McEntire joins Eric Hodge to talk about Nina Simone's 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.' Like Nina Simone, McEntire grew up in Tryon, NC. She says the music Simone made often illuminates the challenges people in the South face, even to this day.

Yolanda Rabun is a talented singer and storyteller.
Courtesy of Curtis Brown Photography

The musical legacy of Nina Simone is celebrated throughout the world, but to North Carolina she is a special treasure. Simone was born in the town of Tryon, where efforts are underway to turn her childhood home into a space that reflects her dynamic, complex legacy. Last year the National Trust for Historic Preservation officially designated it a “National Treasure.”

Restoration Underway On Nina Simone's Childhood Home

May 6, 2019
A clapboard house sits on a hill in the town of Tryon, NC
Courtesy of BPR News

On a day far in the past now, you might have heard the mellow tone of a piano emanating from between these walls on East Livingston Street. But that was a different day with a preacher's family who have long since left this place.

What you might hear today is hammering or the scraping of paint, all in service of a restoration project to preserve the home and honor its most famous ex-tenant: the late music and civil rights icon Nina Simone.

An image of Nina Simone
Jack Robinson / Getty Images

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. On this episode, singer/songwriter Skylar Gudasz tells us about her love of Nina Simone's 'Wild Is The Wind.'

Josh Reynolds / AP Photo

President Donald Trump and the NFL continue to wage war over athletes’ right to protest during the national anthem. Earlier this month, Trump suggested that instead of protesting, NFL players should give him names of people who they think are “unfairly treated by the justice system.” In an editorial for the New York Times, four current and former NFL players argued that it is not about individual pardons, it is about systemic injustice.

Nina Simone's Tryon, NC, Home Sold to Artists

Mar 22, 2017
A clapboard house sits on a hill in the town of Tryon, NC
Courtesy of BPR News

In the 1930s and '40s, the community of Tryon, North Carolina supported local girl Eunice Waymon on her path to becoming a classical pianist. But she veered far from that trajectory, and eventually became an internationally-celebrated jazz and soul singer known as Nina Simone.
 

The three-room wooden house Simone was born and raised in was preserved by community members and recently purchased by four New York City-based artists.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Blue Ridge Public Radio reporter Helen Chickering about the house and its future.

An image of Zoe Saldana
Wikipedia Creative Commons / Public Domain

Last month, comedian Chris Rock hosted the Oscars amid controversy around the awards' lack of diversity. Rock's jokes jabbed at the Academy Awards lack of recognition for any actors of color.

But controversy around race in Hollywood continued after Rock's performance. The new biopic "Nina" depicts the struggles of iconic musician Nina Simone, a singer and civil rights activist. But critics say the movie disgraces Simone's legacy because lead actress Zoe Saldana used dark makeup to change her light-skinned complexion.