Monday, May 3, 2010

Laura Nyro [Music Monday]

Laura Nyro – introduced to me by my boyfriend – is an excellent and often-overlooked folk-soul artist from the 1970s.

Nyro is jazzy and weird and awesome. She rejected fame rather than chasing it, hitting it relatively big early (her songs were covered by Three Dog Night and Peter Paul and Mary; she played at the Monterey Pop Festival and the (horribly cissexist) Michigan Womyn’s Festival) and quitting the business at 24.

A Wikipedia-sourced quote from Nyro, who reportedly identified as bisexual: "I was always interested in the social consciousness of certain songs. My mother and grandfather were progressive thinkers, so I felt at home in the peace movement and the women's movement, and that has influenced my music”. Feminist or no, this is an ableist title of an great song:


A few admin-type notes:

This is the return of Music Monday, in which music that I like by marginalized folks is posted. If you have a suggestion or your own music that you would like to see featured here, please email me.

Apologies on the belatedness of part two of my posts on the intersection between birth control and disabilities. It should be up late today!


  1. It's great to see Laura Nyro getting attention. I grew up hearing her records a lot, partially because my sister went to high school with her, but mostly because she liked her music.

    I don't make a practice of asking people who blog on privilege to educate me, honest, but I thought the best way to get my question answered is just to ask: am I missing something obvious? I don't see where the ablism is in the title "Eli's Comin'."

  2. Whoops! Meant to post Sweet Blindness - ableist because it's appropriating blindness. Eli's Coming is definitely not ableist. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Hello RMJ:

    I'm so glad you're back. You've made my day/week/month.

    Laura Nyro has long been among my favorites. I love the way she could make a quirky rhyme work and not be merely a gimmick. Plus, she was possibly the only singer who could echo old blues songs, Broadway showtunes and a bit of Debussy in the same song (as she did in several songs on New York Tendaberry, including the eponymous tune) and actually make it work.

    Suzanne Vega has said that Laura was one of her main influences.


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