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The Nina Simone Database
To Be Young, Gifted and Black
1969 Weldon Irvine jr, Nina Simone
Toward the end of 1968, Nina Simone had begun working with a young, multi-talented musician, Weldon Irvine, and with him she had written "Young, Gifted and Black" as a way of paying homage to her longtime friend, playwright Lorraine Hansberry (best known for Raisin in the Sun). Released as a single in November 1969, it became Nina's biggest RCA hit, reaching the Top 10 on the R&B charts.
More importantly, it became an important statement that reflected the increasing desire to express pride in the achievements of African-Americans. This was the dawning of a new day and Nina and Weldon were verbalizing a culture's state of mind with their uplifting message of encouragement and empowerment. Not surprisingly, the song has gone on to become the most recorded item in Nina's repertoire, spawning versions by Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Dionne Warwick and '70s reggae stars Bob & Marcia, among others.
-David Nathan, liner notes for CD Sugar in my Bowl

Recording sessions
1969 April 26: Berkeley (US-CA) 3th Annual UC Jazz Festival
1969 June: Atlanta (US-GA) Morehouse College
2007 [7:24] DVD 9 College Concerts and Interviews Andy Stroud (US)
1969 August 17: New York - Harlem Cultural Festival
2005 [3:00] DVD 8 The Soul of RCA/Legacy 82876 71973 2 (US)
1969 August 25-26: New York RCA Manhattan B
standard studio version
Young gifted and black
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young gifted and black
remix 2005
2006 [2:51] CD 1 Forever Young, Gifted & Black RCA Victor (US)
1969 October 26: New York Philarmonic Hall
standard live version
That took everything out of me. Sure... We will give you... eh... First of all you have to... I think I introduced everybody. Did I? No? I didn't introduce him did I? Well, I did? Cos I'm always good for him. Did I? Oh okay. Pearl, are you here? Alright. It's my friend dear.

Listen, and I also want to talk about a friend who I miss more and more everyday everyday. It seems that she comes alive more everyday for there are all kinds of things written about her each day more and more, and I'm talking about Lorraine Hansberry. In this month's Esquire you will find two articles about her and of course you know who she is... dig that... and there is a play downtown... at least it was when we left, called "To Be Young, Gifted..." it's still there... and it's called "To Be Young, Gifted and Black."
whitout initial intro
1992 [6:59] CD 8 Songs of the Poets Edsel EDCD 347
1984 August 25: London (UK) Ronnie Scott's
To be young gifted and black
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young gifted and black
1985 May 19: London (UK) Savoy Theatre
2002 DVD 10 A Nightingale Sang... Cascade 60008 (DE)
1986 December 21: Zürich (CH) Kongresshaus
1988 May 6: Hamburg (DE) Fabrik
1988 September 20: Barcelona (ES) Mercat del Born
Unknown recording session
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