Friday, August 19, 2011

Artist: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Album: She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina, Song: Helpless

Buffy Sainte-Marie is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.  However, much like her famous song, Universal Soldier, she has become a woman of the world.  You could make the statement that because she began touring internationally at such an early point in her career, that she may be more well known outside the borders of Canada than within.  She started her career way back in 1962 and released her debut album in 1964.  Maybe it is my ignorance or once again, another example of how aboriginal music is ignored, but she may have been the first Native American artist to penetrate mainstream audiences.  At one point, she was even blacklisted by the U.S. government for her social and political views.  If that isn't a sign that people were taking notice of her work then I don't know what is.  Her music has been re-recorded by such artists as Elvis, Cher, Joe Cocker, Donovan and Neil Diamond. She has a PhD and has been the recipient of an Oscar, Golden Globe and multiple Juno awards.  She continues to teach and perform in Canada and released her 18th album in 2009.  A couple of interesting facts about Buffy.  During the seventies when she was being shunned by the U.S. media, she decided to join the cast of Sesame Street for a 6 year run.  As well, although she is credited with founding the Juno award for Best Aboriginal Music Of Canada; an award she later won in 1997.  Her first actual Juno nomination didn't occur until that point, after 16 releases and 33 years of performing!  She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina was her album from 1971 and although I'm not doing the body of her work any justice by picking a cover song here.  I just can't get over how much I love her version of this Neil Young classic, Helpless.  The original was recorded a year earlier on CSNY's album, Deja Vu.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina, on Itunes.  You can also follow Buffy at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!