Laura NyroCult NYC Singer-Songwriter
Many singers' favorite songwriter.
Cult hero singer-songwriter Laura Nyro scored a number of major chart hits, but unfortunately, all for other artists: The Fifth Dimension ("Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding Bell Blues"), Three Dog Night ("Eli's Comin'"), Blood, Sweat and Tears ("And When I Die"), Barbra Streisand ("Stoney End"), etc. Born Laura Nigro into a musical and artistic family in The Bronx, Nyro signed to Verve Records around her 18th birthday, but although her 1967 debut (later reissued as The First Songs) contained the first flush of her hits for others, the headstrong teen reportedly clashed repeatedly with her producers and label reps. New manager David Geffen got her signed to the artist-friendly Columbia label for 1968's critically-acclaimed Eli and the 13th Confession. The follow-ups New York Tendaberry and Christmas and the Beads of Sweat were equally strong, cementing Nyro's reputation as an imaginative lyricist whose piano-driven tunes were rooted in equal affection for Nina Simone and the early '60s girl groups. 1971's Gonna Take A Miracle, an all-covers collaboration with then-little-known R&B trio LaBelle produced by Philly soul inventors Gamble and Huff, was a lush stylistic turnaround showcasing Nyro's sultry, soulful vocals, but just as Nyro's brand of spare, poetic singer-songwriter pop was starting to become commercially successful, she chose to drop out of the industry at the age of 24. Although she recorded and performed sporadically from the late '70s until her 1997 death from ovarian cancer, Laura Nyro's legend rests entirely on that stunning '67-'71 string of albums.
|The World of Laura Nyro|