Nellie Lutcher—My Introduction to the Wonders of Black Culture
I was a teenager before I realized that blacks existed.
Without my knowing, blacks had been bussed to schools far from the ones I attended through high school.
But somewhere along the line, I heard, in my culturally liberal home environment, the recordings of Nellie Lutcher, and that launched me along a cultural path which has immeasurably enriched my life.
Looking back, way back, I have a clearer view of what it was about Nellie Lutcher that caused such a seismic influence on my social and cultural orientation.
Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, the performances of Nellie Lutcher are now readily accessible along with intensely interesting biographical information. She composed most of her songs, she played them with the skill of the greatest jazz pianists, and, by the way, she sang the shit of them.
Nellie joined the ranks of other artists who, for some perverse reason, were denied the prominence and consequent riches of the less talented. For example, why didn’t Dolores Gray have the career of Ethel Merman? Why didn’t Gene Rowlands have the career of Lana Turner?
What did Ella Fitzgerald have that Nellie Lutcher didn’t?
From my fascination with the recordings of Nellie Lutcher followed a life-long affection for black culture (including the men, by the way) and my appreciation of the United States with its dedication to freedom and encouragement of ethnic diversity.
I was thrilled to attend one of Nellie Lutcher’s last live performances at The Cookery, a wonderful jazz club within the shadows of NYU in Greenwich Village. It was glorious, especially when the singer identified the recording that enabled her to “eat a little higher on the hog.”
Thanks, Nellie, you changed my life, and I’ll be forever grateful.
To paraphrase the title of one of Nellie Lutcher’s first hit recordings, “She’s a real gone gal and I love her, deed I do.”

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Comment by koshersalaami on November 22, 2016 at 10:14am

Why is the President's name in the title of a post about a singer and pianist? Do you identify his race so strongly with him that he belongs in any conversation about anyone Black? Do you hate him so much that you can't turn down an opportunity to take a shot at him, even if he doesn't belong in the conversation? He's not even running for anything and he'll be out of office in two months. 

Did you really just write a "some of my favorite artists are Black" post? 

Comment by Gordon Osmond on November 22, 2016 at 10:26am

I wanted to make it clear that my adoration of one black singer should not be viewed as a general racial endorsement. In fact, I think that Obama's arrogant and inept presidency has put the cause of black political aspirations way back although as thinking Americans, we should evaluate each politician without regard to race and creed, but with laser-like attention to record and political philosophy.

Comment by tr ig on November 22, 2016 at 10:44am

My best friend was black. His name was Rodney but he went by Roy. Actually, he was half black, half Mexican but any bit of blackness makes for full "African American"

... however, he couldn't sing or dance or play music, and wasn't Obama, either.

Comment by greenheron on November 22, 2016 at 12:06pm

When white people do this, it is so embarrassing. Single out a Special Negro they deem worthy of white praise. Nothing says I’m white and I’m superior quite like talking about how much you admire Jackie Robinson. Or Nellie Lutcher (a twofer! A woman and black too!). Not Obama though. Never Obama. All that major power. Confident, and so darned uppity.

Are you surprised that black people do not appreciate your praise, that they see you there behind your veil? Or that lots of white people wish you’d please just stop doing this? It makes us look so extra-awful.

tr ig! God bless that Roy! I have a black student who always got As. She is so smart, Flolynda! The bestest smartest talentedest black student ever. Except you know what? She was here illegally in the US with her family and the day after the election she withdrew from the college and her family fled the country. She came to say goodbye and we hugged and cried and cried. She's a real gone gal and I love her, deed I do.

Thanks, Trump!!

Comment by Gordon Osmond on November 22, 2016 at 12:07pm

@ks

Look at the title of my article with which you seem to have a problem.

\Many blacks, half or whole, inspire me. BO doesn't happen to be one of them.

Comment by Gordon Osmond on November 22, 2016 at 12:52pm

My god, greenheron, I'm surprised the weight of the paranoiac chip on your shoulder allows you to remain standing. You seem to be suggesting that any white guy who admires one black is a racist if he doesn't admire the lot.

How stupid!: Nellie Lutcher was a supremely gifted artist. Barack Obama is a pompous,ego-obsessed, misguided political parasite who came dangerously close to achieving his rancid dream of transforming the country that lavished its riches upon him. Thank heavens the public elected Trump to save the day.

BTW, my wide circle of friends, including blacks, whites, and shades in between, share my views and my pity for those as misguided as you.

Get help.

Clear enough?

Comment by Ron Powell on November 22, 2016 at 6:38pm

Comment by Ron Powell on November 22, 2016 at 6:41pm

This will be the last comment I make on any post of yours.

There is no conversation to be had here.

Comment by Gordon Osmond on November 23, 2016 at 6:01am

Double thanks, RP, for the clip and your resolve for the future.

Comment by Gordon Osmond on November 23, 2016 at 6:57am

I'm giving up on those who post comments that resemble a room full of feathers

I posted a simple tribute to a black singer who had introduced me at a very young age to the richness of black contributions to American culture. I also made it clear in the title that my tribute was based on individualistm, not collectivism.

In response I received tortured complaints about condescending racism on my part. This is a typical, but remarkably ineffective, political device. President Hillary, anyone?

I simply don't have the time or inclination to respond to this nonsense. So don't be surprised if it's survival of the fittest on my blogs

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