FANS of Nina Simone will recall her two, glorious appearances in Glasgow in the 1990s.

(They may also remember the disappointment at news she would not appear at the 1993 Jazz Festival, after 1993 an over-heated fax machine set her house in France on fire.)

Nina’s first gig was at the Theatre Royal in May 1990, described in a review by the Glasgow Times’ sister newspaper The Herald as “not a regular gig. It was sad and brilliant and strange and unfulfilled. Beautiful, too, but mostly sad.

“Rather like the story of the music industry’s misuse of Nina Simone’s talent over 30 years….”

Glasgow Times:

Nina’s second appearance in the city was at Mayfest on Glasgow Green in 1994.

This time, the Herald reviewer described her as “Impassive. Stately. Other-worldly. A brave approximation.”

A young fan, Warren McIntyre, was plucked from the crowd to dance with her on stage. Twenty-one years later, he and Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson organised a tribute night to the American singer at the Royal Concert Hall.

At the time, he told the Evening Times: “Being only a few feet away from Nina and dancing with her on stage in front of thousands of people was something I never expected when I woke up that morning.

“I was very young and it was a scary but amazing and electrifying experience.”

Famous for songs such as My Baby Just Cares For Me, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and I Put a Spell on You, Nina was born the sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina.

She trained to be a classical pianist but changed direction after being refused a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

She later found out from an insider at Curtis that she was denied entry because she was black.

She played piano and sang in Philadelphia’s small clubs to fund the rest of her education, and she went on to become a powerful performer who successfully bridged the gap between blues, soul, pop and jazz.

During the 60s, she spoke up against racism and inequality in the music business and the wider world, and she was an outspoken civil rights supporter.

She moved to Liberia and Barbados and then Holland in the 70s, but ultimately settled in France.

She was a fearsome force to be reckoned with, and her adoring fans loved her every move, especially her compelling performances on tour around the world.

Twice married and divorced, Nina died in 2003, aged 70.

Do you recall Nina Simone’s gigs in Glasgow? Were you a fan of the singer?

Which other famous faces have you seen in the city? As part of our Times Past series of features, we are building up a bank of tales dedicated to the city we love.

Glasgow was visited by many big stars over the decades – share your memories and photos by emailing or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB,