Still doing it Her Way
Buffy Sainte-Marie was a protest singer who actually had something to protest about. But that’s not the half of it. Kingsley Abbott meets one of the most enduring and genre-busting talents of the 60s, who is as active as ever today
There is no way that Buffy Sainte-Marie can, or should, be ignored. During her multifaceted career she has written and sung memorable hits like Universal Soldier, Until It’s Time For You To Go, Soldier Blue and Up Where We Belong, with the latter song winning her both a Golden Globe and an Oscar following its inclusion in the film An Officer And A Gentleman. Alongside these, there were many dozens of other fabulous and thought-provoking songs, including Now That The Buffalo’s Gone, Little Wheel Spin And Spin and Starwalker.
When she began in the 60s with her first album It’s My Way, for some the best debut album of that decade, no one would have guessed the breadth of musical genres, including country, pop, rock and electronica, that her career would encompass, or that she’d still be out on the road today with a hard-rocking band. For her the key elements that run through all her music are emotion and originality of style. She has always written from the heart and has often encompassed her particular North American Cree Indian culture. She seeks to deliver messages that her listeners can consider from individual perspectives, and by doing this she remains optimistic about the power of change.
There is a wonderful range of her albums currently available. Ace’s catalogue has around a dozen covering her Vanguard years from 1964 to …
by Kingsley Abbott
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