In 1964, Nina Simone embarked on new stage of her career. Her rejection by the Philadelphia-based Curtis Institute Of Music; time spent as a pianist in an Atlantic City nightclub; her jazz, gospel, pop and classical influences – all these had fused to make her one of the most complex, fascinating and talented artists of the decade. Simone released her debut album in 1958, but when she signed to Philips, in 1964, her creative output was about to dovetail with the Civil Rights movement – notably coinciding with the Civil Rights Act Of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, gender, religious affiliation or nationality.
As In Concert selections from Porgy And Bess and The Threepenny Opera revealed, Simone had long looked to the Broadway songbook for inspiration. On Broadway-Blues-Ballads she turns her hand to classics such as Rogers & Hammerstein's "Something Wonderful" (from The King And I), while also recording the Cole Porter standard "The Laziest Gal In Town." Yet Simone was also laying down her own standards, such as "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which almost immediately entered the Great American Songbook and remains one of her best-loved songs.