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music friday: neneh cherry, “buffalo stance”

One of the fun things about doing Music Friday is that I learn cool stuff about a song I love, but don’t know much about. In the late-80s, you couldn’t escape “Buffalo Stance”, and I had the album it came from, Raw Like Sushi. Then I mostly forgot about Cherry … she was good on the Cole Porter tribute album in ‘91, and “7 Seconds” with Youssou N’Dour in ‘94, and that’s about it.

Of course, there’s a lot more to her story, and now I know a little more about it. I knew back in the day that she was Don Cherry’s stepdaughter. But the rest? Let’s just say, Wikipedia is quite interesting on the subject. She was born in Sweden to a drummer from Sierra Leone and a Swedish artist. She lived on a hippie commune when she was young. She dropped out of school at 14 and started playing in punk bands, at one point before she was 18 singing with the legendary Slits. She became part of a group of artistic types formed by fashion photographer Ray Petri called “Buffalo”. Yes, that’s what the “Buffalo” in “Buffalo Stance” refers to. “Buffalo Stance” was a huge hit, putting Cherry’s name on the map.

Her most famous performance of the hit came on Top of the Pops, when the 24-year-old Cherry was seven months pregnant with her second child:

Here is her reworking of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” from Red Hot + Blue:

Youssou N’Dour’s “7 Seconds” with Cherry:

At age 17, with the Slits:

And this year, now a 48-year-old grandmother:

Check out her website here.

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