Saturday, February 20, 2016

Happy Birthday, Buffy!

Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie turns 75 today.

Happy Birthday, Buffy!

In celebration of Buffy's birthday, CBC Music has posted a wonderful gallery that explores "75 amazing things you need to know about Buffy Sainte-Marie."

The gallery, comprised of both images and commentary, explores Buffy's "earliest days as a self-taught folk singer shaking up the coffeehouses and consciousnesses in Greenwich Village and helping Joni Mitchell get discovered; her lifelong commitment to and advocacy for Indigenous and Aboriginal people around the world; how she changed the education system from within, and how her passion for social justice, equality and the Earth mixed with her love of sound and songs."

In short, it's a "deep dive into the extraordinary life (so far) of Buffy Sainte-Marie" and a fascinating exploration and celebration of her legacy as "an ever-curious, ever-evolving, and technologically pioneering musician, producer, composer and artist."

To experience CBC Music's tribute to Buffy, click here.

Here at The Wild Reed I celebrate the 75th birthday of Buffy Sainte-Marie by sharing two videos . . . and by highlighting the many posts I've put together over the years that celebrate this remarkable woman whose life and music greatly inspires me. (You may recall that I had the honor of once meeting Buffy . . . and how I chose her song "It's My Way" as my theme song when I turned 50 last year!)

First, the music video for her 1996 song, "Darling Don't Cry" . . .

Upon its release, Buffy described "Darling Don't Cry" as a powwow love song. It was recorded with the Red Bull Singers (pictured with Buffy at left), a powwow group from the Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. "Darling Don't Cry" is the opening track of Buffy's 1996 album Up Where We Belong.


Up next is a six-minute video that provides an in-depth look into Buffy Sainte-Marie's 18th studio album, 2009's Running for the Drum. This video not only provides some wonderful insights into this particular album, but also into Buffy's inspiring life, career, and activism.

In his four-out-of-five-star review of Running for the Drum, Steve Leggett of writes the following.

[Running for the Drum] wonderfully spotlights all of the musical themes, forms, and concerns Buffy Sainte-Marie has pursued in the past four decades. The album opens with a pair of Native American rockers, “No No Keshagesh” and “Cho Cho Fire,” that draw on Native American drum rhythms, and both are fiery and invigorating. She revisits one of her finest early songs, the beautiful and haunting “Little Wheel Spin and Spin.” She pays tribute to Elvis Presley and rockabilly with the fun “Blue Sunday,” then tackles New Orleans with the chugging “I Bet My Heart on You,” which includes a piano duet with Taj Mahal. Then there are the love songs – always one of Sainte-Marie’s greatest strengths (her most famous songs, “Until It’s Time for You to Go” and “Up Where We Belong,” are both classic pop love songs, equal to any Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building creation). “When I Had You” is gorgeous and moving, as is “Easy Like the Snow Falls Down,” a love song that expands to embrace the whole of life, including its end, with compassion and calm wisdom.

Happy birthday, Buffy!
And thank you for all
the creativity and inspiration
you embody and impart through
your life, art, and activism.

For The Wild Reed's special series of posts leading-up to the May 12, 2015 release of Buffy's most recent album, Power in the Blood, see:
Buffy Sainte-Marie and That "Human-Being Magic"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Lesson from the Cutting Edge: "Go Where You Must to Grow"
Buffy Sainte-Marie: "Sometimes You Have to Be Content to Plant Good Seeds and Be Patient"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Power in the Blood

For more of Buffy at The Wild Reed, see:
Actually, There's No Question About It
Buffy Sainte-Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize
For Buffy Sainte-Marie, a Well-Deserved Honor
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Still Singing with Spirit, Joy, and Passion
Something Special for Indigenous Peoples Day
Buffy Sainte-Marie: "The Big Ones Get Away"

Related Off-site Links:
Life Lessons: Buffy Sainte-Marie – Andrea Warner (CBC Music, May 2, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie Q&A: 50 Years of Activism and Music – Karen Bliss (Samaritan Mag, May 27, 2015).
In Conversation with Buffy Sainte-Marie – Chuck Armstrong (Diffuser, May 18, 2015).
Where There's Folk, There's Fire: An Interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie – Kelly McCartney (The Bluegrass Situation, May 11, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie on Her New Album and Legacy as a Native American Activist – Alex Frank (Vogue, May 27, 2015).
8 Amazing Things You May Not Know About Buffy Sainte-Marie – Erica Commanda (Muskrat Magazine, May 22, 2015).
Canadian Icon Buffy Sainte-Marie Drops Some Truth Bombs Following Her Polaris Prize Win – Jesse Kinos-Goodin (CBC Music, September 22, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie on the Current State of the World – Yasmine Shemesh (, December 11, 2015).
The Songs of Buffy Sainte-Marie Heard Loud and Clear with Polaris Win – Rosanna Deerfield (CBC Radio, December 27, 2015).
Blood on the Tracks: An Interview with Living Legend Buffy Sainte-Marie – Stephanie Wong Ken (Bitch Magazine, August 11, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie is Still Doing It Her Way – Sue Zalokar (Street Roots News, July 10, 2015).
The Fierce, Childlike Creativity of Buffy Sainte-Marie – Jacob Blicenstaff (Mother Jones, July 9, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie: It's Her Way – Jim Tobler (Montecristo Magazine, June 15, 2015).
Legendary Native American Singer-Songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie on Five Decades of Music and ActivismDemocracy Now! (May 22, 2015).
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Official Website

No comments: