Laura Nyro | Artist

Laura Nyro | Artist

Tags: Era_1970s, Gender_Female, Genre_Pop_Rock, Genre_Soul, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Laura Nigro aka Laura Nyro was an American songwriter and singer born 1947 in The Bronx, New York. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, plus had commercial success as a songwriter. Nyro's influence on popular musicians has been acknowledged by such luminary artists as Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Tori Amos, Patti Smith, Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, Diamanda Galas, Bette Midler, Rickie Lee Jones, Elton John, Jackson Browne, and many others. Todd Rundgren stated that once he heard her, he "stopped writing songs like the Who and started writing songs like Laura". While many of her contemporaries recognised her musical brilliance, wider recognition of her artistry came only after her death from Ovarian Cancer in 1997, aged 49. Nyro was the daughter of Louis Nigro, a piano tuner and jazz trumpeter, and Gilda Mirsky, a bookkeeper. Laura had a younger brother, Jan Nigro, who has become a children's musician. Laura was of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, with Italian American ancestry from her paternal grandfather. As a child, she taught herself piano, read poetry, and listened to her mother's jazz records, and classical composers such as Debussy and Ravel. She composed her first songs at age eight and later attended Manhattan's High School of Music & Art, where she was praised for her emotive three-octave mezzo-soprano voice. Louis Nigro's work brought her into contact with record company executive Artie Mogull and his partner Paul Barry, who auditioned Laura in 1966 and became her first managers. Nyro recorded her debut album, More Than a New Discovery, for the Verve Folkways label and several songs from the album later became hits for The 5th Dimension, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Barbra Streisand. She also sold the song "And When I Die" to Peter, Paul, and Mary for $5,000. Between 1968 and 1970, many major artists had hits with her songs: the 5th Dimension with "Blowing Away", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", and "Save the Country"; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul and Mary with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson with "Eli's Comin'"; and Barbra Streisand with "Stoney End", "Time and Love", and "Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)". Nyro's best-selling single was her recording of Carole King's and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof". In her lifetime Nyro released nine studio albums, several live albums and one posthumous album released in 2001. Her first five albums are all superb and most highly recommended: More Than a New Discovery (1967), Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968), New York Tendaberry (1969), Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (1970), and Gonna Take a Miracle (1971). 1976's Smile is also very good, as are Season of Lights... Laura Nyro in Concert (1977) and the archival release Spread Your Wings and Fly: Live at the Fillmore East - May 30, 1971 (2004). On the album Gonna Take a Miracle, Nyro worked with female soul-funk trio Labelle. Laura Nyro was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Featured Albums: Laura Nyro

Related Artists: Labelle

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