I can’t say I’m a Buffy Saint-Marie fan but I do respect her as an artist & a revolutionary. I recently watched ‘Carry It On’ a PBS American Masters documentary about her career & was amazed by the ups & downs that she survived. I didn’t know that the US Government deliberately sabotaged her career – they weren’t pleased with both her antiwar & her Indian rights activities. To shut her up they ordered radio stations not play her recordings or songs she had written. Land of the free – yeah, sure.
I have an mp3 cd compilation that includes I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again (1968): country, Illuminations (1969) psychedelic with synthesizer to create electronically treated vocals & textures, & Soldier Blue – Best of the Vanguard Years (2003). As a stand alone I have ‘Running For The Drum’ (2008). Her ‘political’ songs are strong & fearless. Her romantic songs are tender. I loved Illuminations perhaps one of the most before it’s time recordings of the 60’s. Creatively daring, a total departure from her well-regarded folk & country roots it is still an amazing piece of work.
Also in this mp3 collection is Mercedes Sosa out of Argentina, she sings in Spanish. I read about her somewhere as being one of the best selling singers in the world! Yet, at the time, I had never heard of her. A sign of the insular world of pop music. I have a couple of her cds & here is Gracias A La Vida. She has a warm alto voice. I love the tile song & Maria Maria.
Remember Sam The Record Man? On the second floor there was tiny world music section & in a reminder bin I picked up a cassette ‘Aster’ by Aster Aweke (Ethiopian) singing in Amharic. I love the African horn sound, similar to Osibisa’s. Another warm alto the songs were emotional even though I didn’t understand them. On this cd I have Sugar (2001).
Also here is Astrud Gilberto the Brazilian bossanova singer who sang in both Portuguese & English. The Silver Collection (1991) is a nice selection of her hits. A lighter voice than the others here with a strong jazz leaning. Lots of classic Latino hits. A good introduction to her & the samba genre.
Finally Miriam Makeba out of South African. She was best known though the 60 thanks to her work with Harry Belafonte. Similar to Buffy her music was part of her social mission. Here I have Sangoma (1988) – sung in a variety African languages. Yes another warm alto voice & a great introduction to Afro-Jazz & folk music.