Archive for November, 2009
“I say to boys and girls that you’ve got to start thinking more about your bodies and minds and what you’re putting in them. Being in tune with your body is foremost because you’re body tells you right away if something is wrong. If we listen to our bodies more and our hearts, I think we’ll be a lot happier people in whatever we do.”–Minnie Riperton
Source: Jet Magazine: May 17, 1977
” I love music; I love life. I really enjoy my life; I really do. I really feel like I’m lucky. I get to sing to you and feel such good vibes; I get to do what I do–I’m just very lucky I guess. I guess you can say I’m one of those kinds of person who would much rather look at the glass half full rather than half empty.”
I took this Minnie quote from an interview on JET Magazine (IDK the date)…
“…I was a little kid and I’d hang out with musicians in their 20s and 30s, and we’d jam. I was like their little sister and they loved to see how far, vocally, I would go…”
Today would have been Minnie’s 62 birthday. We all know she passed away too young, and that’s very sad. However, we,the Minnie followers and fans around the world, continue to keep her music and legacy alive.
We are glad to be among the FEW (if not the ONLY) websites that share Minnie’s musical legacy with the world.
Minnie, your music still lives in our hearts.
The Perfect Angel Staff
Minnie Riperton, the popular soul singer with the terrific vocal range who readily talks about the mastectomy she had over a year ago, noting she was not a superwoman throughout the ordeal: “I’m not trying to kid anybody. I’m human. I was scared to death at first. Cancer means death, and I definitely want to live. I didn’t know I was safe until after the operations.”
Source: Jet magazine “Words of the Week” May 5, 1977
“Your wealth can be stolen, but the precious riches buried deep in your soul cannot.”
Source: Wisdom for the Soul of Black Folk
By Larry Chang, Roderick Terry
Well, i don’t know in which magazine was this interview published, but i know it was published some weeks after Minnie died. Here she talks about her new album (Minnie) and about some other interesting things about her disease…
June 1979, In person interview conducted by David Nathan in Los Angeles
“This interview was David’s second face-to-face conversation with Minnie; at the time, she was dealing with health challenges – in 1976, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a masectomy. One of the conditions for having the interview was that we wouldn’t talk about her health but focus instead on her then-forthcoming album. She passed away on July 12 at the age of 31, just weeks after this interview had taken place at her then-manager’s office in Los Angeles.”
MINNIE RIPERTON has a new album out and it marks her debut set on Capitol Records. She’s feeling justifiably pleased with it and has good reason to: those who’ve heard initial mixes conclusively agree that this would be Minnie’s best to date. After a few years with Columbia Records, the lady whose “Lovin’ You” brought her international success and prominence in 1975 had decided “it was time to move on – and I feel only a few record labels that really could see the direction I wanted to take my music and I think in Capitol we’ve found people who have an appreciation of my talent as an artist and as a woman. I didn’t want to be swallowed up again which is kinda what happened at CBS.”
Minnie’s relaxing in the management office of Kenn Fritz (who also handles amongst others George Benson) and she’s eloquent and articulate as always. She seems genuinely enthused about her new label affiliation as well as her new album. She wrote all but three of the cuts with husband Dick Rudolph and she feels the album (simply entitled “Minnie”) represents what she’s about in a contemporary setting. Cuts like the ethereal “Return To Forever,” “Never Existed Before” with its strong Brazilian influences and “Dancin,’” with its disco-oriented feel show Minnie in a broad spectrum. ‘
“When it came time to sit down with the people at Capitol about the album, I already knew what I wanted basically. I’ve always admited the work of Henry Lewy (who’s worked with Joni Mitchell, Carole King and The Mamas & Papas) because I dug the way he recorded music and especially the way he captured the female voice. I’d also heard he was a real nice guy and sure enough, when we met, he turned out to be real mellow and open-minded. He was a joy to work with because he doesn’t demand, he gives as well.
“We knew what we wanted because Dick and I had worked on pre-production on tunes at home, so when we were with Henry it was more like he was a movie ‘director’ than a producer per se. He spent a lot of time just looking for the right technical equipment to use for instance – we ended up using some old mikes instead of the brand new kind and you wouldn’t believe the difference that made in itself.”
Minnie adds that one of the most important aspects of this particular project is that “we didn’t rush – Capitol didn’t say ‘we’ve got to have it next week’ – and it wasn’t anything like what I had to deal with at CBS. And then too, I found Henry was really into what I was writing, dug what I was saying and you know that’s a great asset when you’re working with someone.” And aside from the co-producer of her album, Minnie’s also been working with some other very special people – like Stevie Wonder (who lent his talents to Minnie’s first Epic album, “Perfect Angel,” her initial [major label] solo set after several years as part of Rotary Connection) and Jose Feliciano.
“Stevie was eating at my home – he loves my cooking! – and I played him a tape of a tune we were working on to use for the album – “Lover And Friend,” he said he’d like to work on it and within a few days, he’d done the whole rhythm track himself – the only things he didn’t do were the strings and horns and the vocals!” And in addition, Minnie had picked the song “Light My Fire” for the album “because I’d always dug the song” and who should be recording in close proximity whilst Minnie was doing the track but Jose Feliciano who first took the song to international prominence. “We’d already met so there was a sort of mutual admiration society going on anyway. I really wanted Jose to sing on it with me – and that’s exactly how it turned out! That’s how the duet was born – and I’m really thrilled at the way it sounds too, especially the end part – we really got a groove going.” Minnie has definite thoughts on those ‘special’ collaborations: “It’s a great feeling to work with people because the creativity flows when you’re both in tune. Like with Stevie, we’ve always had a very special friendship – and we dug each other before he discovered my peach cobbler and lemon chicken! Maybe that proves that the way to a man’s heart is still through his stomach,” Minnie quips, “but seriously, it’s a joy to work with someone like Steve and I think we’ll be doing some duet things real soon.”
On her own writing with her husband, Minnie says this: “We have no set form but we do try and put some aside every day to leave something new on tape or on paper. We wrote a lot of the tunes specifically for the album rather than drawing from any kind of stockpile. We usually do demos in the basement of our home because I know how important it is to be organized and I take pride in that.”
“You see, I’m learning that it’s bad to spread yourself and try and take on responsibilities that I don’t think I can handle. I don’t let anything pressure me – my attitude has always been ‘so what? when people try to do that to me. What’s most important to me in that people dig me and my music and as long as they can do that whilst I can still be myself – hey, that’s what’s important.”
The songbird doesn’t feel that disco is in any way a threat to the more mellow kind of music we’ve come to expect from her. “I don’t see how disco per se can affect artists and their music because if you’re into your artistry, you don’t do music for fads or write songs for a particular mode of music. To me, simplicity is the key to music, I never try to be ‘futuristic’ even though some of the things we’ve done before have tended to be a little ahead of their time.”
Minnie recalls that she’s always had to deal with people casting an image of her that might not be quite accurate – and that’s even affecting the way some people have reacted to some of her music. “Take “Inside My Love” from the Epic album we did. Taken out of context, people put all kind of things on that tune which goes to show that most people are still pretty uptight about sex regardless of how much of a ‘permissive’ society we live in. People just have a problem freeing themselves.”
“I remember back in the ’60s, my husband and I were considered hippies, with our blue jeans and stuff and now it’s considered no big deal. And I wore an Afro so back then it made me a militant!” There are always barriers that people create and that’s why I feel it’s real important in my music to let people see my life because more than anything I’ve learned it’s just as easy to be happy as it is to be unhappy – so we should all try and make that attempt to be happy, right?”
Anyone who takes a listen to Minnie’s newest offering is sure to agree that feeling happy is just what it’s to leave you because there’s happiness right here in the grooves.