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The New York City Soul of Laura Nyro

February 2, 2017

The Flower and the Vine

“Amber was the color
Summer was a flame-ride
Cookin’ up the noon roads
Walkin’ on God’s good side
I was walkin’ on God’s good side…”
-Laura Nyro, “Lu”

lauranyro3For thirty years, Laura Nyro believed she had been booed off the stage after her performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. At just 20 years old, it was only her second live performance ever, and her brand of New York City soul contrasted sharply with the west coast-dominated lineup of pop and rock bands. Footage of Laura performing was not included in the Monterey Pop film, reinforcing the idea that she hadn’t gone over well with the audience. The story of this perceived failure followed her throughout her career, tempering her confidence, until the producers of the film unearthed forgotten footage of the festival in 1997. Their discovery was shocking: no one had booed before, during, or after Laura’s set. Instead…

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