August 15, 2009 – 4:07 am

Laura Nyro has never been happy being told what to do. Yet she put up with this rather intrusive TV show that has adults discussing her music. As the show closes, she shrieks her final number, the subversive Save The Country, and escapes.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Critique 1969 [no label, 1CD]

TV show on WNDT, Channel 13 in New York with Laura Nyro performing live in the studio. VG+ TV broadcast mono.

This is a rare sound recording of a TV series first aired in New York in November 1968. The 45-minute program covered a variety of subjects ranging from drama (Moliere’s “The Misanthrope”) to film (John Frankenheimer films), sculpture, architecture, poetry, the novel and music.

Program five was The Works Of Composer, Lyricist and Singer Laura Nyro.

Get ready to hear a very young Nyro solo on the piano playing some of her early songs including And When I Die. The program’s presenter, John Daley, does a good job interviewing a young David Geffen, then Nyro’s manager. Geffen does his best to explain why the new teenage singer-songwriters are artists first and entertainers second.

Nyro is also interviewed and her interviewer, William Ploughman (?), appears to overwhelm her. Nyro was 21 when she appeared on this TV show and she doesn’t articulate effectively her views. But we wonder what Nyro thought watching her lyrics being scrutinised on television. It’s like a literature lesson rather than popular television as though her school essay was being shown to all.

Two critics dissect her lyrics together with John Daley. They are Michael Thomas and Patrick O’Connor. If any reader can elaborate as to who these personalities are, please do. If anyone has the video, please contact us for a trade.

The 26-program series ended in 1969. The sound quality is pretty good considering the age of this recording. Just a bit muffled. The bonus interview from 1994 is hissy but clear. We are sharing this as it is, some of the track marks may be off. Enjoy.
- Professor Red

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Introduction by John Daley (3.0MB)
Track 02. And When I Die (2.8MB)
Track 03. The Man Who Sends Me Home (3.8MB)
Track 04. Captain Saint Lucifer (4.3MB)
Track 05. William Ploughman (?) interviews Nyro (10.5MB)
Track 06. interview with David Geffen [cut in the middle] (11.9MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 07. Mercy On Broadway (2.8MB)
Track 08. You Don’t Love Me When I Cry (5.7MB)
Track 09. Critics discuss Laura Nyro (11.2MB)
Track 10. Critics discuss Laura Nyro (2.1MB)
Track 11. Save The Country (2.6MB)
Track 12. Interview with Laura Nyro by Richard Knight Jr 1994 [26m] (37.5MB)

Her 1967 debut album was full of great songs - And When I Die, Stoney End, Flim Flam Man, Wedding Bell Blues and California Shoeshine Boys - many covered by others who made them into hits. It was originally called More Than A New Discovery but was later reissued as The First Songs. It represents her pop music side. Buy it here.

  1. 12 Responses to “THE FIRST TIME”

  2. Laura was a very intuitive song-spinner & an excellent pianist / vocalist. Also, a kind of fragile, yet strong vampirelike saint. Thanx for this posting…

    By Timmy on Aug 15, 2009

  3. There was a Michael Thomas who reviewed rock music for magazines like Rolling Stone and EYE. Perhaps that was the same guy. He was English and appeared on an episode of the Dick Cavett show where Janis Joplin confronted him.

    By Dick on Aug 16, 2009

  4. Thank you so much for posting this very hard to find recording! I’ve been looking for this one for a long time.

    By Michael on Aug 16, 2009

  5. Anything by this lady is worth hearing.
    great stuff!

    By ian pryke on Aug 17, 2009

  6. Here’s an idea: Charlotte Gainsbourg, a singer-actress some 30 years younger than Laura Nyro, looks enough like Laura to be her sister. Biopic, anyone?

    By Steve Smith on Nov 24, 2009

  7. What a wonderful find.

    I have heard about this show, but never saw it.

    Does a videotape exist? Does Channel 13 in New York (WNET, was WNDT) have it in their archives? Help somebody!

    She was astonishing. “Captain St. Lucifer” and “Mercy On Broadway” are very sophisticated pieces, and to hear her perform them just on solo piano is just amazing. And this girl was only 21 at the time. Wow.

    Man, was she good!

    By James on Jan 10, 2010

  8. Hi
    Yes that was the same Michael Thomas, That recording was made on a craig cassette tape recorder with the microphone propped up on albums
    in front of a small tv. If only I had a video camera, betamax… anything

    By beth on Feb 27, 2010

  9. Not trying to push anything, but fans of Laura Nyro might enjoy a piece I wrote for Down Beat in 1970. I interviewed Laura for this article.

    This will take you directly to that post:

    By Chris Albertson on Mar 26, 2010

  10. Thank you so much for posting this!!!
    I used to LIVE for the next Laura Nyro album to come out. Since she’s been gone something is definitely missing in my life. The world just isn’t the same without her!

    By Tucker on Dec 19, 2010

  11. In 1969 the TV station call letters were still WNDT. It’s Public TV, now part of PBS. It’s not CBS, as the artwork would indicate.

    By Edw. on Mar 6, 2012

  12. Track 1 + 3 are broken

    By Eddie_1412 on Jun 23, 2015

  13. yeah wnet - tv is pbs and known as ch13 in nyc. the artwork prob meant to put a p and used a c instead.
    however public tv and public broadcast service isnt exactly the same thing. suffice it to say this is the station that shows sesame st and austin city limits and charlie rose. haha.

    By darth on Jun 23, 2015

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