Thank you to all of you who write so beautifully of your heart and soul. Time, mine, yours and ours. Left out of tales, tailed by talentless and talent isn't the right word for your words, your wisdom, your whimsy, your wanton world of womanhood, life giving tone and tone and tone and alone.. So astonished by loss, so astonished to find nothing but sidebars, asides, some mentions when rooftops need be screamed from, and begging from strangers, "don't leave don't leave don't leave". Every note boiled up from bones of past, and the past, and the passed. Note passed on like baton to one and many, a song. A song. And the song will never be gone. Beautifully thought and written Shelley, Keates, Rimbaud...and Nyro! My children's children will be your horn, God please let it be! I pray I may accurately witness this the second time around. I am living it, finally awakened to the woman who fanned my unconditional love spark, encouraging my soul's surry to freedom, ultimately donating herself to attach language humans could understand to aid the animals. I was really thrilled to see Laura inducted by Bette. I think Bette put on the greatest performance of her life, and she wasn't really performing. I got to see what a warm, loving and noble person she is.
Laura touched down on me in High School, in Los Angeles, around 1968. I was in love with a boy named Billy and so her song, "Marry Me Bill" lulled me to sleep every night. I didn't marry Bill, but I found the music that will always keep me loving her as a friend and confidant.
Tonight, I am playing Laura's LPs in reverse beginning with "Nested" and back to "Eli".
This incredible, beautiful Siren never ceases to amaze me. I saw her once, towards the end of her life at a "folk" type festival in NJ. She arrived in a conversion van with her Partner and a couple of other folks. I am a devoted fan since the early 70's, although, of course, I heard her creations before that.
I have always been in love with her!
I will do what I can to keep her music and contributions alive. I am a high school teacher, community college adjunct (education mule),a retired chiropractor and, a mediocre musician who knows magnificent music! I know people in music. I am looking
to get a tribute band together.
Wish me luck!
-Dr. K We all do! Thanks Patty, for your devotion to Laura. Its because of your never ending love for Laura, that we 'the fans' get to have a glimpse of an 'angel' that was once among us. Been a 'fan' since the night I heard her sing on the radio. I was home in Brooklyn, NY on leave ( US Navy Medic} before going over to Vietnam. One of the first things I did when I returned home, was to hit the record stores and buy 'Laura's' music. Thanks Frank, I never realized what a gift of talent and humanity Laura Nyro was until she was already passed away. I had loved many of her songs but the name (Nyro) on them was sort of obscure, while the bands and musicians who covered them were often played while Laura's singing of her own songs were far less played even though she sang with grace and beauty the words she had written. When you review all the songs made famous by others that Laura Nyro wrote you begin to realize how she enriched nearly every life touched by the music scene of the rock n' roll era. I only wish I could have sat down and talked with her about her life and her life's work. I suppose that as a conservative Christian we would have disagreed a lot, but I bet I would have found sharing a day with her humanity an experience I would have remembered and treasured for a lifetime. I will listen to her music and will now have to get the book your website mentions regarding her. Congratulations to all who sought to get her a place in the rock n' roll hall of fame where she obviously belonged. To those who knew her as friend and family, I'm sure the pain of her early departure from this life still stings. But for those of us who never knew or met her, many of us would if we could ask to spend one day with someone who lived in the last 100 years would find it difficult not to put her on or very near the top of the list. Dan Previous Comments In twentieth century popular music, basically,
there is Laura Nyro, and then there is everybody else. If anyone sees this.... and only the right people will.... Laura Nyro is one of the few who are truly made of music. Made to represent music... put on this planet to lead and direct us in its secret language. It can't be lost. Listen. I mean really hear and listen... As a "60's kid" I was aware of Laura's early work but not really a fan. At that time my muses were what you might expect from an adolescent male; Jimi, Cream, The Sons Of Champlin, Tower Of Power and Rundgren. But at some point last year (many years later)I made the decision to acquire her first 5 albums.
What a revelation... I listened to little else for 3 months. That's the thing with her work, once you let it in you begin to feel that you can't live without it. Her prodigious talent as a songwriter was well known to me, but it was the passion and texture of that AMAZING voice that really set the hook.
Several months later I was having a conversation with a lovely young vocalist and musician I was working with. It was a quiet moment and we were discussing our influences. She told me that her true fascination was with what she called "Soul Music". I was delighted to hear that someone of her generation was listening to Aretha, Chaka, Patti Labelle and the like. So I asked her if she had ever heard Laura Nyro. She had not. So I suggested that she might want to check out the body of her work as I had by that time drawn the conclusion that Laura was truley one of the greatest and least appreciated soul singers of all time. The R&B roots were always evident in her delivery but that wasn't what I meant. It was that (in my opinion) Soul Music is or at least should be music that truley touches the soul. And no one has ever quite gotten "up there in me" like Laura has.
The poetry, the textural use of her varied modes of accompaniment but above all, the incredible power in her voice. From the belting to her intimate soto voce, stacked backrounds (no one did it better, she was way ahead of the pack in that respect as well) or her leads, she never fails to make me feel her spirit and move my own.
Someone once said that great music has no expiration date. Only the musicians do. Her work has touched me in a way that will stay with me as long as I have the ability to hear it in either my ears or my memory.
I believe her work will continue to draw people to it by it's singular uniqueness, pure musical muscle and masterful finess. Laura Nyro was one of those talents that come along once in a generation and will continue to inspire people for generations to come. She is an artistic treasure.
Thank you, beautiful Laura. For everything... I am a huge Laura fan, but only for the last few weeks. I always particularly enjoyed the Fifth Dimension's "Save the Country" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" when I was a teenager, but now, thanks to Youtube, I have discovered Laura Nyro and I absolutely cannot go a day without listening to her crystal-clear, beautiful voice. Love, Love, Love her and her music. R.I.P. Laura. Back to a time when a singer/songwriter could move and captivate the listener. with a piano and microphone. simple, right? the song has to be great to do it. every single time i listen to her i laugh. and then i cry. i laugh because i think to myself, why did she go right into the next verse. or, why did she repeat that section. or, why is she behind the rhythm. i can't figure her out. i love to sing and i am laughing to myself, i can't figure her out. i am a drummer but do not sing that great. i am logical and linear. so then, like a musician i stepped back and listened to the songs. then i got it. she made me jump up and down. clap my hands. cry... so to see her going into the rock n roll hall of fame. she is a great talent that was taken away too quickly. When I was about 10 or 11 my older sister used to play Laura's records and I always liked what I heard. Of course Laura was my sisters music and I moved on to Carol King, Neil Young, Eric Claptin and Led Zepplin.
While cleaning out my deceased parents house I came across "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession." OMG, I have fallen in love with Laura's music. I have purchased all of her albums and even made Poverty Train my ringtone. (pretty funny when my phone rang while getting my taxes done......my accountant laughted histerically and ask who was the awesome singer.)
Needless to say I never knew much about her. Today, I wanted to know everything so I found this website. I cried like a baby to discover she was no longer with us. I can only hope she is watching from above and rejoycing in her success. I wish I could have known her when she was alive. Congrats Laura you deserve to be in the hall of fame!
If there's a newsletter or anything please include my email. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bio refers to Laura Nyro as being "among the most gifted singer/songwriters of modern times." They got it wrong. She was the most gifted singer/songwriter ever. To me, Laura was a gift from God given to us at the right time, even if we were ill prepared for it. She was an important figure who helped shape a popular culture at its most crucial time and in so doing, created art that is truly timeless. To put it most simply, I love her. I never heard of Laura Nyro until I (just recently), saw Bette Midler explain who she was, and "why" Laura was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. And then I heard "Stoney End", and then I went omfg, Moneterey Pop festival, ..., and many more songs later too, and wow !
I am such a stupid man. Forgive me please.
I honestly never really knew Laura was the original Artist who created so many of those beautiful songs, that I heard as an adolescent, and later teenager.
"...money talks, and bullshit walks..." but that young girl many moons ago, was/is the "real" thing. aka - Mozart'ess of the 20th Century.
Young people today have an excuse not to have heard of her, but I have none, and I'm 55 years old -Lol.
How could I have missed this?
Anyway, hey thanks for keeping this website-flame burning in her honour. I watched Bette Midler's speech and had tears in my eyes the whole time, then put on New York Tendaberry and got all teared up again. Laura Nyro was a genius and a visionary and left a long shadow. Both she and Duane Allman (Another visionary) died too young but we have them together on 'Beads Of Sweat', the fiercest, most passionate meeting of ice and fire I've ever heard. I am nearly 60 years old. Time has ravaged my memory. For so long now, I have tried to remember Laura Nyro's name. I remember her music well as that part of my memory has remained. Today, May 19, 2012, I happened across a repeat of the HBO broadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees for this year. I am happy to say that the memories of my youth, and the name that went with the awesome music that was Laura's, came back to me. I immediately ordered every album of Laura's that I could find online. I thank God that Laura Nyro's name, as well as her music, will be with me for the rest of my life. Thank you, Laura, for the beauty of your music. It is your legacy for generations to come.
Mark Me. I never thought I'd be one to tune in the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, but man am I glad I did. For there, right in front of me was a reminder of a now gone treasure that I'd forgotten about. Like Bette Midler said, I was one who had wondered what happened to that authentic singer/songwriter Laura Nyro. I remember Laura and her music, both of which I had missed, until now. I am so back into Laura's music. It reminds me of a happier, yet complexed, and interesting time. How I long for those days and time. Thank you Laura. I found this page while mourning the loss of a friend. She was a lot like Laura in some strange way that I can't explain. Dana would like that. So would Laura. Her music is something that can't be compared to somebody else's. Laura never needed the R-N-Roll HOF, it needed her. My grieving for my lost friend is a little easier listening to Laura's music. Laura Nyro was and is a blessing, a heaven-sent tribute to melody and lyric and proof of the occasional arrival of genius on Earth. When, as Americans, we catalog the the greatest artists our culture has hosted Laura Nyro belongs amongst the archangels of inspiration, story-telling and the purity of the human spirit. When we herald our greatness - as we tend to do far too often - we are never misguided when we mention Nyro, Dylan, Gershwin, Berlin, Sondheim, Porter, and Gaye among the tune-smiths who have put our country and our collective soul to song. Like a lot of other things in my life at age 63, I am discovering how much of life I missed. Saw her for the first time last night on the awards and had no idea she wrote all of those songs. Same thing happened several years ago with Ray Price...had not idea he wrote so much great music that other artist performed. This gal had so much talent and she didn't fit the rubber stamp mold which is fabulous. We are starving to death today for some real music other than rap crapp and three chord wonders. Is there another one out there like her that I have missed. It is no surprise that there are many "diamonds in the rough" of the Bronx in New York City. Laura Nyro was clearly one of them.
Laura Nyro wrote songs I never knew she wrote and yet I lived through those times and heard those songs sung by other Recording Artists. I am 50 years old and, yes, I am saying that.
One must understand that it wasn't until the seventies when a good portion of Recording Artists started writing there own songs. So, with that being said for the sixties and early parts of the seventies.....it was easy to recognize the recording artist but not the song writer. The song writer usually stood behind the image of the recording artist back then.
I have heard her name mentioned and maybe seen her photos, at passing times, in life.
I never knew that the songs she wrote were certain songs that impacted 2 Generational Decades (60s & 70s). Just a few songs was all it took from her to impact a 2 Generational Decades.........man, that says quite a bit.
Congratulations Laura Nyro on being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2012.
Humble, TX I was so surprised to find that some of the songs I grew up with, listening from my parents, were written by this amazing artist. I was totally, emotionally boweled over by the tribute given by the Devine Miss M to Laura at her induction to the Rock & Rolll Hall of Fame ceremony. It was a beautiful moment that I hope many felt part of too. Previous Comments Finally, this gorgeous, brilliant, musical soul will be introduced to new listeners (R&R Hall of Fame, 2012). The first song I ever heard of hers: Luckie-and it changed me forever. After that, I had to own every record, sing every song, play an listen to her sing a billion times. I was listening to Christmas In My Soul yesterday and the song made me cry with its beauty and wisdom and artistry. I heard it my sleep all night long. So many years later, she is ever-present and real. Everything about her is beautiful. Oh, Laura. I miss you so! Finally... there is a little justice. Laura's in the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame. Can't say much about her fellow classmates but better now than never. This woman's been singing in my soul for decades and I'm so honored to have felt her voice and artistry in my life. I'm almost glad she's not more "popular". I never tire of informing the great unwashed as to who and what she was. I am tired of hearing "Laura who?" though. Still to all who know and love her to hear of her induction on NPR I almost drove off the road.
There is a god.
My partner Edward j. white passed away a year after Laura did. He loved her, her music and wrote her frequently. She always allowed us backstage after her concerts, including her Christmas Eve performance at the Bottom Line. Ed left me her music including a home recording never released. She was special in our life and I am only sorry that both Laura and Ed are not here to savor this wonderful moment, long awaited and much deserved. May they both be celebrating in heavens and listening to Eli's Comin'. I, am still here with my cigarettes and ashes. Thank you for the music Laura. Christmas in my Soul indeed this holiday season.
What a blessing to see Laura finally receive the accolades that are her due!
Wonderful, thrilling news this day.
Blue Laura, a fan for 45 years At last!
Tears in my eyes this day upon learning that Laura is finally where she has always been for her fans, at the top of the Hall of Fame!
Christmas in my Soul indeed this holiday season...I am thrilled!
Hooray for my hero, Ms. Laura Nyro! Congratulations on Laura Nyro being accepted into the RRHF, even though it took way too long. She was in good company with Donovan, who they also kept waiting too long. Someday I hope to get around to reworking that piece I wrote about Laura when I was high(!), and will share it with you. Aloha, Michael
PS. I still believe Christmas and the Beads of Sweat is as great as the best album of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, or anyone else. Today is December 7, 2011 and Laura is among the 2012 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Laura's family, friends, admirers, and best of all, those yet to discover her. Laura Lives--Surry on Down!!! I used to lie in bed late at night listening to WABX-FM Detroit waiting...waiting...waiting...for "Eli's Comin'" to play. Then I'd become completely still and attempt to totally absorb every nuance of the most achingly, hauntingly beautiful and powerful voice I had ever heard. I saw her perform at Cobo Hall and will never forget it. Today we beckon the return of the Sacred Feminine and I know that The Goddess sang through Laura. "I've got a lot of patience baby and that's a LOT of patience to lose". Speaking from me, I'm thrilled that Laura is finally in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. She is most, most, most deserving. Love you Laura and thank you to your spirit that lives on!
Gene It is great that Laura Nyro is being honored with induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.It was great that so many of us got to at least hear her music or her in concert over the decades she was with us. You can still buy her music via amazon and other sites and it is timeless.To grow older with her ballads,her soul tunes,etc. is a privilege. Let's hope we will always cherish her memory and music and support ovarian cancer research,too. Mark in Charlotte She made it finally Laura Laura Nyro is in the rock hall of fame so
Happy for her Congrats to her class of 2012 ... smile upwards to such a creative true song writer
Music and Peace always
Antony Like so many of my generation (I'm 62), I've been in love with Laura for several decades now. While I've listened to her work thousands of time, it remains refreshing, invigorating and new. I just read Laura has been elected for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It's certainly about time. I eagerly await her actual induction and accompanying tribute. David (in New Jersey) I never gave a better gift to my daughter than my love of Laura. I have listened to many of Laura's songs over the years and didn't know that she wrote all those lyrics because the songs were performed by other people. That, of course, is my error and my loss. She is magnificent and deserves Hall of Fame credit for what she accomplished. I respect her immensely for not wanting to be so commercial with her work. She wrote for herself and a limited audience, those people who can appreciate genius when they hear it. I am forever grateful for the beautiful creations she brought and still brings to listeners. If there is anything I can do to help you with your film, please ask. My wife and I are both college English teachers, and my wife has written some plays, one of which has been performed. Thank you.
Belton Absolutely Love her .. every time i hear a song she sings i am touched ... so much soul .. i heard her for the first time on a Columbia records compilation called Different Strokes .. that had a number of Columbia artists on it..i have been a fan ever since..she stirs me deep in my soul with her mournful passioned voice and beautiful chord changes.. i can say she was one of my first musical influences and pushed me towards my career as a songwriter.. thanks you Laura
John As a 61-year-old pianist/arranger, and one of the lucky few who saw Laura perform live at L.A.'s Troubadour back in '69, I've been enjoying the great satisfaction of creating and performing in a nightclub revue of Laura's songs here in L.A. (called "Stoned Soul Picnic", what better?). It's been such a treat to introduce 20- and 30-somethings to Laura's work, and to enable my fellow Boomers to experience some of their favorite songs again. I admire some of the current female singer-songwriters, but nobody approaches Laura. To paraphrase "Been On A Train," she had guts, gospel and brains.
Older Comments A strong mysterious voice you had
compelling us to listen again and again
enthralling and transporting us to magical realms
lying at times gently in your arms
safe inside our December's Boudoir
other times your voice would demand
for us to rally and wail -
wail at the injustices in our World
and for an end to all senseless wars
And always your Spiritual Nature would touch us
abiding as we tarried within Louise's Church ,
thinking of her , Frieda , Sappho And Laura ,
and those she admired so much
Her legacy will live on -
instilled Deeply and Lovingly within our Soul I remember with fondness one of the first concerts that I had the privilege to attend (I was a sophomore then at U of Penn in Philadelphia) when Laura, amidst the snowy weather, came to Bryn Mawr college....the weather was forbidding but she didnt disappoint; wonderful setting for a truly memorable night.
Robert For over 40 years I have carried the songs of Laura in my mind and in my heart. I am a songwriter but never reached the level I heard and felt in her. Here music can stir things in my soul that I myself cannot access. She was a gift to us all and left a lasting impression on not just myself and all of her fans but on American Music.
I am listening to her again tonight, with fond memories of my youth swirling though my mind with her as my soundtrack. I never knew her and yet I feel a deep loss for her. And yet I feel joy for all that she gave us and will live on forever.
Thank You Laura I just discovered Laura today. My sister-in-law told me that she was my dearly departed ( 2 years ago) wife's favorite artist back in the '60s. I never knew that !! I found this web site and felt immediately "connected" to my wife through reading about Laura and her music. I have heard many of the cover songs through the years. Now its time for the originals. I will be adding "Stoned Soul Picnic" to my collection today. Thanks for a wonderful website experience.
Billy Laura's music has been a part of my life since the late 60's. I was always amazed at her voice and the pure soulfulness of it. She needs to be recognized so others can be exposed to her great talent. I had the great pleasure of seeing her live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium , with her on piano and 3 backup singers and was mesmerized by her talent. Being the male groupie that I was towards her I was able to walk her to her car (of course being watched by guards) but she was kind and gracious to me. A night I will never forget. I love the picture of Laura on the Home page. I think you changed it. Well done. My program broadcasts Laura Nyro's music quite a bit as I have always considered her to be a representative of authentic talent, and beauty. She was an original whose contributions will never be forgotten in this world.
'The Stone Age' with Dan Wargo / Public Radio Exchange (www.prx.org) / www.bigislandradio.com February, 2011
Laura's music is heard almost each week in Minnesota, Iowa, California and Montana-Wyoming...Thanks, Dan I knew Laura Nyro just today listening a track from "New York Tendaberry" on the radio.
And i suddenly loved her lovely music that make me feel very deep vibes of my soul.
Alessandro. I really don´t understand why she isn´t "popular", besides her hits and others songs. Her music is unique and very powerful. First of all, what´s the meaning of "popular"?
Where I live - Brazil - she´s not well known. What a shame, I must confess. In other way, some people say things like that: "- I´ve heard this song before, but I don´t know the artist who made it". That´s when I answer the question, "It belongs to Laura Nyro, you should know who she is, what she represents to music, etc & etc... that´s our role as followers to her work.
But what´s the meaning of success? Let´s think about it. If Hall of Fame inductee will become reality one day, that´s fine for us, but it will be in a natural way. Popular? She is a gift. That´s it: a beautiful gift. Forever.
Let´s see the next years. In the meantime, let´s enjoy her music and spread her messages to the world. She would love it, for sure.
Laura, we love you.
Paulo - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil So, it´s 2011, I´m 45 yo and finally 'discover' Laura´s music...
Of course I knew some of her songs, but never realised she recorded so many beautiful songs. Wow, what an intense voice she has. Great songwriting too. I can she/hear the influence she had on Todd.
Grooveshark.com has an extensive playlist of her songs, what a find!
George from Overseas Hi! I recently watched Laura's performance at Monterey and from the first note of "Poverty Train", I thought What Is This????? Absolutely stunning!! Now I seem to have been hooked and cant wait to discover more about this beautiful, fascinating woman. Very much looking forward to learning more. I wonder what is the update with the movie???
Mahe Island, SEYCHELLES I first saw Laura perform at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. around 1972. It was a full house. A beautiful venue.
She was at a black grand piano, a small round table was near her with a rose in a bud vase and a glass of wine. A night I will never forget.
Through the years I was lucky enough to see her live several more times. The last for me was at the Botonical Gardens in Denver where I now live. That was about 2 years before she passed. There are no words to describe her brilliance and beauty. She is part of my soul. In my mind she was my friend and I loved her. Bruce, Denver Colorado What will it take to have Laura, inducted into the 'SongWriter's Hall Of Fame? I saw the press release today. June 16th in NYC another group of songwriters will be inducted. I scanned the list of those that are in the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. I must say I was shocked! To see some of the names. I just don't get it? Maybe am not suppose to? Frank I am a huge Laura Nyro fan and have made it a personal mission to introduce her and her music to as many people as possible. I am a musician, singer, songwriter, and arranger of choral music. I'm putting the finishing touches on an arrangement of "Save the Country" for a youth choir I direct. The arrangement has more in common with the 5th dimension version than Laura's original, but I decided one thing I would keep is the final few bars of Laura's original, which leads to a concluding unison F-natural(at least that's what it is in the key I'm using) I always found that a striking contrast to the richness of the song's harmonies overall. I wondered if anyone or perhaps Laura herself ever explained that ending. To me it was sort of a statement about war, and how we try so hard to change that part of our collective karma, celebrate life, and achieve peace, we always find a way to get sucked back into senseless conflict. Anyway, that's what my take is. I'd be curious to hear others. Meanwhile, I'll continue to be a pied piper for Laura for as long as draw breath. Cheers! Laura Nyro provided the sweetest background to my life from the first time I heard her in 1967 up until this very moment - she is singing to me as I write this. I tear up every time I hear her voice because it brings me so much joy and peace. I am so grateful that she played the Wiltern in L.A. back in the late 1980's and I was able to see and hear her live - one of the best nights of my life. God Bless Laura Nyro. I wrote a new article that mentions Laura in the first paragraph, and knew you would enjoy reading it. When I looked up the Laura Nyro site it was too cool to see that I also wrote about deer by coincidence as you will see. Best regards, Michael
I am a Nyro archivist from Canada. Does the documentary on Laura's life have a projected release date as of yet? I was also wondering if you could post the great news on your next website update that Audio Fidelity is releasing a limited edition premium vinyl edition version of "The First Songs" now available! The information from their website can be found here:
Keep up the great work! This is now the one and only website totally devoted to Laura Nyro.I always enjoy my frequent visits here. Kindest Regards From Canada, Susan I first heard Laura's music in 1969. IU was 15 at that time. I had never heard anyone sing as beautifully as her and have all her vinyl, duplicates on casette, and many on CD. I saw Laura at the Bottom Line in NYC twicw and at Night Stage in Cambridge, Mass. I din't know she was gay until I observed the line waiting to get into Night Stage. I thought to myself, So what! She has been an inspiration to me since age 15. I am now 56. In 1989, my wife and I had a still born, full term baby girl who we named Emily and we play the song Emmie regularly which serves as a reminder of our poor lost soul. Still, it is not morose. I just, this evening wrote a story about Laura on my advertiser supported, information based web site here in the Mid Hudson Valley region of New York State. If anyone would care to read it, find it at hvinsider.com. It should be up on the site sometime Tuesday, March 15th. I wrote it from the heart to the best of my recollection. Miss you Laura, my special honey. I love you! Bob, Newburgh NY Previous Comments I stumbled upon Laura’s first LP when I was a teenager in Iowa in 1969. I knew this album was something different. The images, passions and sounds all flowing together, working in concert. So many surprises. I loved the songs, but I was most astonished by Laura’s courage, her boldness to make the songs she wanted, just the way she wanted them – her audacity to make something so new.
The discovery that such courage was even possible was an inspiration that helped change my life. I didn’t stay in my small town. I’ve lived in New York City for the past 30 years, working as an actor, a writer and a singer. I sang “Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp” in a musical revue. I used Laura’s song book to teach myself to play piano. I’ve written and performed songs of my own. I’m not famous, but I’ve managed to do some things I wanted, just the way I wanted them.
When I moved to New York, I found out from a friend that Laura’s father tuned pianos, so I hired him to tune mine. I didn’t tell him I was a big fan of Laura, but when he finished with the tuning he said, “I have a daughter who’s a singer. Maybe you’ve heard of her. Laura Nyro.” And in perhaps my greatest acting performance, I calmly said, “You’re Laura Nyro’s father? Well, yes, I know her music and like it very much.” And then I sat and listened to him talk about her for awhile. He was obviously proud but seemed bewildered by her fame. He and his son had both trained extensively and seriously on their instruments, with modest success, but Laura would “just sit down at the piano and play around.”
Of course, the vital word there was “play”. There is playfulness in Laura’s songs -- a creative willingness to follow mysterious impulses, to make up vivid characters, to ride the dreamy waves, to explore the shadows.
I saw Laura perform a couple times in New York and then one rainy day she was sitting at the end of a Manhattan subway car, twenty feet away from me, looking private and content. I felt I’d been riding a train with her half my life and suddenly there we were, riding a train together. I left her alone, and though I’ve rethought my choice many times – what I might have said – it seemed right at the time. “Thank you, Laura Nyro. I’m here because of you.” That’s what I would have said.
Phoebe Snow was right, Laura's music is timeless. For the last 10 years since I discover this remarkable artist, I just keep listening to it and always find something new in her music. I believe that Laura is best female artist of all the time.
Ivan Hi everyone, being a long time fan of Laura's and a constant visitor to this web site I have to share a recent wonderful expirence. I purchased the 'cd' 'Season Of Lights' it is an awesome 'cd' of Laura, in concert. If you don't have it yet, please do yourself a favor and order it today. I have been listening to the 'cd' while driving in my truck, and at my home. I have everything Laura's put on disc, this one is without a doubt the best 'live' 'cd' Peace everyone FRANK I am a musician and have been all my life. i'm over fifty years old. i've played with and listened to lots of musicians and in my opinion Laura was the most gifted i've ever heard. she was perfection in every way. there are many great songwriters but Laura threads melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyric together and then presents it like a gift to your soul. no one can get inside you the way she did. the diversity of her writing is stunning! i much favor her performances of her own work. not that she's unknown but i cannot believe more people (especially musicians) don't pay attention to her music.
oh yea, btw my name is Bill and Laura, i love you so, i always will. My name is Rob and I am a musician living in Vancouver and I'm only now just becoming the musician I can be after a challenging life. I remember the first time I heard her around 17 or 18 years old and she was an Angel on earth is what she really was, she was an Angel from Beyond who came to share her song. And what art that is.
Why do the beautiful of soul die so young? Why are some taken from this world so soon before we even really got to know them and how how wonderful they and their art was? She was so good and true of heart like a John Lennon, Dylan or Donna Sommer (her ballads were beyond).
What I really want to know is where can I buy a complete set of all her work, including all the re-mastered stuff. Thanks and yes she should be in the hall of fame, SHE BROKE MY HEART. And you know she is breaking them now in the next world for sure.
We never die, we just go on, so wait up for us Laura... I don't want to miss another show. We miss you so much, at least I do. I so wish I had seen you live just once.
you can hear me at www.myspace.com/robdriscoll if you want or not.
Rob I was 20 years old when Laura Nyro's Eli's Confessions started playing backstage as we struck the set of a rehearsal. I immediately stopped what I was doing. I had never heard anyone like that before -- or since. Ms. Nyro remains with me until I no longer have an earthly existence. She is unique in her prodigious talent and beauty. Thank you Laura for gracing us with your life. I guess ive listened to just about every great artiste from the last 50 or so years , but every time i listen to Laura's work i somehow feel like im hearing the most emotional music ive ever heard. Laura really was the best female songwriter and singer of all time and nobody will ever come close to touching her ability wise.
Steve, Oldham, England I have been a fan of Laura's for many years & am happy to say that I saw her perform in Santa Monica sometime in the '90"s. She was so beautiful, spiritual, deep, thoughtful, melodic, poetic, enjoyable and inspiring. We shared an interest in animal advocacy. I was wondering if the Foundation would be interested in letting me use her song, Lite the Flame ( An Animal Rights Song), to educate people about the plight of elephants. I am on the board of ElephantVoices which is run by Joyce Poole. She has been studying African elephants for many years & travels globally to speak against elephants in zoos & circuses, lack of habitat & the ivory trade. Laura Nyro's song would be an excellent tool that we could use with video for our website, Facebook, etc. It is also a way for Laura to continue to help animals which I know was very important to her. Thank you for your time & attention. Patty Please do use "Light of Flame" for such a humane effort. May it help the cause. 13 years later and I still can't avoid thinking that the whole of post Tin Pan Alley songwriting can be divided between Laura Nyro and everyone else. Heavenly, haunting, and absolute genius.
Darn, I miss her.
Steve just to say that when I purchased First Songs in the early seventies I loved every single song on the album. Now in 2010 nothing has changed since I am still playing the CD version and it is still one of my all time favourites. Lazy Susan, what a haunting melody.
England She was so papular with young generation and popilar with those who love humanity. We never forget her or never keep her away from our heart. gpd bless her soul,
Waheed Islamabad Pakistan Welcome Pakistan I met Laura at a club in NYC, where I was performing with a friend of mine. I looked to the audience,and saw Laura sitting at the table right by the stage. Being only 18 years of age I immediately experienced an acute case of stage fright.I walked off the stage and Laura,being the compassionate,supportive woman she was,ran to me and encouraged me to overcome my fear,even comforting me. I felt a sense of calm and tranquility.I asked Laura to join us on stage and she replied,"No thank-you,this is your night to shine". I love you Laura and miss you. I hope things are going well with the DVD. I anticipate it with the desire of December's Boudoir. I was introduced to Laura and her First Songs LP at boarding school. Most of the students were European and I was homesick, so what a great friendship I struck up with an American boy who kept me laughing constantly, and one afternoon I will never forget was when he played that first album. Laura's voice and words immediately carried me away to a warm place of love and tenderness, of the New York characters and harshness mixed with joy, the sorrow of drugs and street walkers, to the feeling of a rose in Spanish Harlem (I know the song was not yet recorded by her, but she took me there) on that street of buy and sell. I was Billy's Blues....and my restless soul knew I was a Runner.
Then after Christmas break when I returned to that gloomy boarding school, John came tearing down the lane with Eli in his hands, and thus began a new voyage.
I got to see Laura perform 3 times, once in an Opera House concert where she moved across the stage to the piano like a boat swaying slowly through a thick river, sensuously, shawl draped around her shoulders, a red rose tucked in her thick black hair. She was a miracle that night, taking us all into her bosom of poetry, sharing her life, carrying us on the sea waves of her voice to a special sacred sanctuary, a red light of passion mellowing into the softness of blues Later I saw her with her mostly all women's band, and it was like a party. Finally I saw her in a little grove in Central Park. She was pregnant, and it was sweet and intimate and refreshing, a new birth coming.
I regret so much passing up the chances to see her at The Bottom Line. I was right there, too preoccupied to think that this was not a mainstay but a fleeting life...a sweet song that would soon be just an echo. Thankfully she has left us with SO many songs from so much of her life. Sometimes I tune my MP3 player to only her music, and it shuffles for hours. I go to sleep with her voice in my ears, a lullabye. TO my delight, I actually found a new song....just one of those that slip by at the time amongst the others, maybe waiting for the time to be heard. It is "Serious Playgroung" from Angel in the Dark. You see, whenever I'm in a record store, I out of habit go to the Laura Nyro section, hoping beyond hope to find anything new, not wanting to believe that there will be no more. So, hooking onto a song I never really heard before is a wondrous gift from her. It makes me realize that she is still present, still a vital part of my life. I introduce her to everyone I come across if the world of music comes up. I am so pleased that Audra McDonald has sung her songs at Lincoln Center and on her albums, that the world has still to recognize the genius and unparalleled artistry of this angel who came down to touch us with her music and her soft sweet soul. I loved the title I heard for her in the early days, "The Queen of Polished Soul". May you be known and heard by all. As a teenager I loved the 5th Dimension, and among my favorite songs were Stoned Soul Picnic, Save the Country, Blowing Away, He's a Runner... and looking through album credits one day I realized most of my favorites of the group's songs were written by a lady named Laura Nyro. I had to find out more about her. I'm glad I did. I got to see her once, just once, in Oakland on the Smile tour. I'll never forget it, a couple thousand people in the audience and you'd swear you were a guest in someone's living room.
Sometime in 1991 I saw the reunited Original 5th Dimension in concert and of course there was the euphoric joy of hearing them do "Wedding Bell Blues." "Save the Country" brought the audience to their feet, of course, and Billy Davis Jr. told the audience, "You know, that's as true a song today as it was when Miss Laura Nyro wrote it," and there was thunderous applause. And you know, he was absolutely right.
I'm 47 and only discovered Laura a week ago. Her music has been with me all my life, one of the first songs I can remember hearing on the radio in 69 was 3 Dog Night's cover of Eli's Comin'. Even as a teenage more apt to listen to Kiss or Led Zeppelin I absolutely loved the 5th Dimension's cover of Wedding Bell Blues. More recently after hearing Swing Out Sister's cover of Stoned Soul Picnic I decided to research the song. The name Laura Nyro came up. So I clicked on the You Tube video of her version. I was immediately intrigued and listened to her version of Wedding Bell Blues. Then I listened to song after song, some familiar, some a totally new experience. I was hooked. Laura became a drug. I listened to her You Tube stuff over and over while doing my work. I immediately tracked down some CD's on eBay and bought them. The week in between waiting for them was agony, having to get my Laura fix while at the computer. I'd sit there long after my day's work was done listening to, reading about and looking at Laura. Finally, yesterday, those precious CDs. It's great for me but kind of sad that this divine woman's music was to be had new in shrink wrap for $4. I spent yesterday and most of today listening to The Best Of Laura Nyro and The Essential Masters. But I was nowhere near ready for New York Tendaberry. It's been on my Ipod since last night. I pulled it up and sat down to work. Right. Work. I was immediately transfixed. I had heard a couple of the tracks already, but the work as a whole blew me away. As much as I adore her popier work, this album is absolutely unparalleled. The intensity of her voice was unbelievable. The minimalist arrangements showcased both her incredible voice and her brilliant piano. I've only heard that level of vocal intensity out of Brazil's Elis Regina, but with Laura there is no language barrier. All I could do was listen and stare at Google images of Laura. Observation; there are hundreds of images of Laura looking very intense and a couple of non professional pics that make her look like you or I, but my favorite image of her, the picture of her smiling on the inside of The Essential Masters is nowhere to be found. Even if you already own all the music on the disc the picture itself is worth the price of admission. I've been obsessed with music before, but never personally by the artist. I feel personally connected to her in a way that someone who never met her shouldn't and has no right to. It's quite eerie how those images affect me. I look at images of other artists with indifference, oh so that's what the look like. It's the music I care about. Or I might look at how their public image changed over time, but somehow those images of Laura make me care about the person that was Laura Nyro. I'm still sorting it all out but I think I'm in love...
Glad you are here. And your are in love..... I just watched "Broken Rainbow" for the first time in my life on this day, Sunday- May 30th, 2010 ( Memorial Day Weekend ). Being part Native American on my Dad's side...it was a devastating thing- this documentary... Being a retired music producer/engineer/ musician... I was immediately 'entrance' by the song/music heard throughout this film ( Laura ) and am now here... 'Laura....you aren't gone...you are just away... I can hear you in the whispering wind...'