Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Ask me who made the world; I will avert my eyes and laugh..."

Connie Converse with her guitar

Hearing Connie Converse's songs played without knowing anything about the woman herself, you would think they were recorded yesterday by someone with a penchant for clever wit and easy access to vintage four tracks and reel to reel recording gear.

The fact is that Connie wrote, performed, and recorded these songs fifty years ago. Her poignancy, feminist leanings, hints toward atheism, and delicate storytelling place her half a century ahead of her time.

Connie Converse in her New York City apartment in the 1950s

A brief synopsis of Connie's life from WNYC's "Spinning on Air":
"During the 1950s Connie Converse lived in New York City writing and singing thoughtful, emotional, smart, witty, personal songs. She accompanied herself on guitar, a "singer/songwriter" before that term or style existed. Connie sang her songs at gatherings of friends, and once on television. The music industry of her day couldn't pigeonhole her, and didn't welcome her. Discouraged, Connie left New York in 1960, and in 1974 she wrote a series of farewell letters to her friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen Bug and disappeared. She has not been heard from since."

"Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)" by Connie Converse:


Connie Converse - How Sad, How LovelyThe first volume of Connie's devastatingly poignant—and, at times, brilliantly sardonic—songs was just released by Lau derette, a label founded with the explicit purpose of sharing her music. The album is aptly titled How Sad, How Lovely. It is available HERE.



Find more about Elizabeth 'Connie' Converse and her captivating story HERE.

1 comment:

Bradley said...

What a find! And did you spot this slightly scathing article on the Huffington Post? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-sachs/50-years-late-connie-conv_b_173386.html