Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Fotopersbureau de Boer)

Music

Watch Nina Simone perform 'I Loves You, Porgy' on Playboy

@notmyyaztattoo

Playboy is synonymous with many things, but dazzling performances from history’s best musical talents might not be the first thing to cross your mind. However, some of the content associated with Playboy might generally come as a pleasant surprise.

Sure, there is a long and tedious history of reading Playboy “for the articles…” but the sentiment isn’t too far off. The magazine has published some of literature’s best over the years. Shirley Jackson, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, John Updike, John Cheever, P. G. Wodehouse, Arthur C. Clarke, John Irving, Roald Dahl, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, and James Baldwin have written for Playboy during their careers.

However, beyond the literary stars, Playboy is no stranger to being a patron of the arts in all capacities, including musically. That’s precisely why Nina Simone performed ‘I Love You Porgy’ at the Playboy penthouse, and why there’s such glamourous archival footage of the performance available online.

Whether you’re a Nina Simone fan or you’ve only listened to her casually before, you can check out her amazing performance in all of its black and white glory. There’s something undeniably cool and glamourous about the footage, and it has an air of old Hollywood charm. Not only does her voice come off in that smooth Nina Simone way that everyone knows and loves, but watching her sing and perform for the glitzy upscale crowd can truly transport you back in time.

Although listening to Nina Simone is enough as its own sensory experience, watching the footage is a nearly cinematic experience. Simone looks bewitching in her effortless gown as she sits at the piano and shows off her musical prowess.

It’s like something pulled straight from a movie, except it’s simple, casual, and at the same time, abundantly soulful. Her backing band is relatively minimal, but it still gets the job done and colours the sound beautifully.

Nina Simone is an undisputed music legend, and finding footage like this is an absolute treat. You can sit down, relax, listen, and make it a full viewing experience.