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Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie has enjoyed a long career that has seen her rise to stardom on the folk circuit and try her hand at country, rock, soundtrack themes, acting, activism, and children's television. For most listeners, she remains identified with the material she wrote and sang for Vanguard in the mid-'60s. Her songs that addressed the plight of the Native American, particularly "Now That the Buffalo's Gone" and "My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying," were the ones that generated the most controversy. Yet she was also skilled at addressing broader themes of war and justice ("Universal Soldier") and romance ("Until It's Time for You to Go"). She was also a capable interpreter of outside material, although her idiosyncratic vibrato made large-scale commercial success out of the question.

Sainte-Marie was born to Cree Indian parents and adopted by a white family. Signed to Vanguard, she was one of the folk scene's more prominent rising stars in the '60s, and certainly the only widely heard performer articulating Native American viewpoints in song. Much of her best material from this era, however, gained its greatest commercial inroads via cover versions. "Universal Soldier" was one of Donovan's first hits. "Until It's Time for You to Go," perhaps her best composition, was covered by numerous pop singers, and became a big British hit for Elvis Presley in the early '70s. "Cod'ine," one of the few '60s songs to explicitly address the dangers of drugs, was covered by Californian rock bands Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Charlatans.

Sainte-Marie didn't pigeonhole herself as a folkie, though, recording in Nashville in the late '60s in attempts to break into the country market. In the 1970s, she would make some rock records, including one (1971's She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina) with contributions from Ry Cooder and Crazy Horse. These country and rock outings were far less successful, both commercially and artistically, than her early folk efforts.

But Sainte-Marie was never as reliant on selling units as most musicians. She kept busy with a long-running stint on Sesame Street, performing benefits for and organizing on behalf of Native Americans, and composing for movies (she won an Oscar for the theme to An Officer and a Gentleman, co-written with her husband, producer Jack Nitzsche). She hadn't made an album for 15 years before issuing Coincidence and Likely Stories in 1992. It was another 17 years before her next, the wonderful Running for the Drum, appeared in 2009. ~ Richie Unterberger & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Saw her last year at BB Kings. She still has that beautiful voice and great spunk
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER SAYS IT ALL!

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

MOONSHADOW
I first heard of Buffy from friends in Greenwich Village where i was staying at the time 1968. Jerry and Lilly Clark if you are still out there contact me. Lilly was a personal friend to Buffy and was on the same record label . Bob mongeillo :)
Buffy is certainly someone special.
I have zero followers
better singer than vampire slayer
bmurphy414
Buffy was a class mate of mine at Umassand a good friend. I so enjoyed herwork at umass and local venues and still do so today. She was a wonderful and good person which her artistry reflects. Bernie Murphy '62
madrigalshih t z u
I have no words to describe how much I adore Buffy Sainte-Marie . . . s h e was my saviour in my teenage years and I saw her perform at Univ. of Mass/Amherst in 1971 which was one of the most wonderful evenings I ever had. She is , by far, one of the most talented of the 60's folk divas. An Academy Award, involvement in so many wonderful library projects, her dedication to Native American rights....no t to mention her gorgeous voice, her beauty of physical body and more importantly, of soul.
ftcmoa1
This is my 60's
I have been priviliged to see Buffy perform 3 times in my life....what a joy and revelation. There's no one like her on stage...to sing and express music the way it should be sung.
I have been following Buffy's music all my life...since I was a high school student and she released her first millior seller, Until It's Time For You To Go. That song won me over and I became a follower of her music for life. I am Native American Indian and her music spoke to me throughout the years. Without Buffy, I would have had no role model. I respect her in many ways and she has opened up the doors for many. Long life Buffy and her new music Running For The Drum is still as powerful
suretka
It's great to hear Buffy once again, after so many years. The strength carry on her voice put her as one of the great woman warriors of or times.
ramona01
No sound. 9-18-09
I can't play the music!!!
I happened to be in Parry Sound, Ontario on vacation in 2007. Couldn't believe my good fortune she was performing there and I was able to catch a great performance by a truly one of a kind performer and personality!
billylathum
Hi Buffy, This is Billy Ray Lathum (Kentucky Colonels) I sure would like to hear from you if you get this. My e-mail is I am in Nashville. Love and peace to you; "Billy Ray Lathum"
Oh, wow, it's great to hear Buffy again, after all these years. I was so intrigued by her incredible voice when I was a teen listening to her albums. Fantastic!
As a young woman of 13 I first heard Buffy on the Merv Griffin show. Time stopped it its tracks for me as she sang the untold story of American Indians in the brilliant "My Country Tis of Thy People" - I wept inside and at the same time was determined to speak out for the plight of the dispossessed . Following in her footsteps I too became a singer song writer and wrote a song in my early '20's that would also become a sort of anthem for peace. May the Great Spirit continue to bless Buffy, her fa

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