I wish I could recall the name of the person who introduced me to the music of Laura Nyro back in my college days. I soon purchased her album “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.” The album contained a few of her greatest works….works made famous by bands such as the Fifth Dimension and Three Dog Night, including their hit singles Stoned Soul Picnic, Eli’s Coming and Sweet Blindness.
She died of ovarian cancer in 1997 at the age of 49.
She will be formally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in April 2012.
Ironically, her only single as an individual artist that charted was her rearrangement of the Carole King masterpiece “Up on the Roof.”
I had the pleasure of talking with Milt Okun several years ago. Mr. Okun produced and arranged for some of the top folk groups in the sixties. Among them, Peter Paul and Mary, The Chad Mitchell Trio (with whom John Denver launched his career) and the Brothers Four.
He also produced some of Ms. Nyro’s music.
Okun described her to me as a poetess whose work was beautiful but needed editing in order to keep the length to playable proportions.
Perhaps one day, someone will revisit Nyro’s work, find the edited material and weave it into new music.