Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist? -

Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?


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Nancy Wilson was an award-winning singer whose charm and expressiveness was felt in R&B, gospel, pop, soul, and jazz music. It made her a crossover recording star for almost five decades. She had a prolific career, both as an activist and an artist. Her foray into pop music began in the 60s and is underappreciated. She shrugged off easy labels for the music that she performed in a Grammy-winning career for over five decades. She also said to the press she doesn’t consider herself as a jazz singer. Hence, Wilson told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I take a lyric and make it mine, I consider myself an interpreter of the lyric.” Thus, she resisted the label jazz singer on her career, although jazz was the form of her song. She adds, “That’s my essence, to weave words,” to be dramatic.

Nancy Wilson: The Singer Who Bridged Pop And Jazz

Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?
Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?

Her skilled and flexible singing approach provided her with a key to bridge between the jazz-pop vocalists in the 50s. Also, the powerhouse pop-soul singer in the 60s and 70s. On her career, Wilson performed jazz ballads, American standards, R&B torch songs, and Broadway show tunes. It was all delivered with the sense of her song’s narrative. Nancy was a type of girl who was a highly efficient singer and hardworking that in her five-decade career, more than 70 albums were released. On her outstanding career, she gained 3 Grammy awards. Also, she was honored as the Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the arts.

Her Famous Songs That Touch Many Lives

Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?
Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?

With her supple voice, natural ability, and willingness to cross musical boundaries, she made her sensation in the jazz world. Her songs touch many lives of her fans as well as for ordinary listeners. She owes to her natural inclination to convey the lyrics of her songs with emotional transparency and deep meaning. So, here is some list of her famous songs that touch so many lives:

  • “With My Lover Beside Me”
  • “Just Remember”
  • “Heart of Mine, Cry On”
  • “The Last Dream Home”
  • “With My Lover Beside Me”
  • “When October Goes”
  • “I Can’t Teach My Old Heart New Tricks”
  • “Love Is Where You Find It / At Last”
  • “When The Meadow Was Blooming’”
  • “Heart of Mine, Cry On”

Nancy Wilson: Accomplishment Throughout Her Career

Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?
Why Did Nancy Wilson Never Consider Herself As Jazz Vocalist?

Well, as said earlier, she is an award-winning singer in the US. Her success through her career made her famous in American music history. Her first fame rose after she joined Julius “Cannonball” Adderly – a jazz saxophonist. It was during the period of the 50s and early 60s. Guess what song become a breakthrough hit? It was her “Guess Who I Saw Today.” She is technically a top 4 hitmaker, but only included with two singles, “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” and “Face It Girl, It’s Over.” Both of the songs belong to the Billboard Hot 100 songs between 1964 and 1968. That year, it was also her biggest year. She would remain devoted to jazz during her later years.

From 1995 to 2002, Nancy found a home with the NPR’s jazz profile. It was a daily documentary series that celebrates the legends of the genre. She hosted around 190 episodes on the show that chronicled the lives of famous artists such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. Her life and career were successful, her ability to engage the audience is really spectacular. There are likely that there will be no another Nancy Wilson in our lifetime. Sadly, most of us didn’t realize and recognize the real treasure that Nancy gave us when she’s still alive. Nancy Sue Wilson died at the age of 81 in her hometown in California.

All in all, her contribution to jazz history is outstanding. Many of her fans have adored and idolized the way she performs on the stage. Her legacy will continue up until today, and she was one of the true symbols of jazz in the 20th-century.

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