Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Saddest Singer on Earth: Amy Winehouse and The Blues

Introduction:  Welcome to My World

“When I’m singing, I’m happy. I’m doing what I can do, and this is my contribution to life . . .”
– Anita O’Day (an early incarnation of Amy)

Incredibly enough, Amy Winehouse passed away ten years ago this summer. But this is a story about her sad music and the sad music that inspired it, not a story about her problems or the flaws that caused them. Born September 14, 1983 and died July 23, 2011. That’s her biography, plain and simple. Her own autobiography, however, is mostly embedded in her two releases while still vibrantly alive and brazenly sashaying, her debutante surprise Frank in 2003 and her surprisingly mature masterpiece Back to Black in 2006, and that autobiography is considerably more complicated than her actual personal history. They are the light and the dark sides of both her real character and her chosen edgy persona, as well as of her deeply impressive musical artistry, the first one inspired by her love of Sinatra (or rather his ring a ding-ding Rat Pack spirit), the second one inspired by her love of oblivion (or rather by its lack of awareness).