In a note posted on the Huffington Post, Mitch Winehouse discusses the life and music of his daughter Amy, who passed away a year ago today.
“Of course,” he writes, “I loved her voice – for me she was the greatest female vocalist of all time – but I also cherish Amy’s lyrics, and the part other music played in her life as she was growing up.”
In the post Winehouse recalls hearing one of his daughter’s earliest recordings: a version of the Hoagy Carmichael/Ned Washington standard “The Nearness of You,” which she recorded for a CD put together by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, the group Amy sang with as a teenager. “I got a shiver down my spine,” he writes. “It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard.”
While Winehouse goes on to note his continued affinity for tracks like “You Sent Me Flying” and “Stronger Than Me,” he admits it’s difficult for him to listen to her record Back to Black due to the majority of the songs being about her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, and “all of the terrible things he put her through.” The tracks on that record, due to their emotional weight, also became difficult for Amy to sing later in her life, the singer’s father notes.
“She was most proud of ‘Stronger Than Me,’ ‘You Know I’m No Good’ and ‘Rehab’ because of the Ivor Novello Awards she won for them,” he writes. While he adds that Amy wasn’t particularly interested in awards, the Ivors held a special place for her as they honored outstanding songwriting and composing. “The Ivors are awarded by people who know what’s what about songs and stuff,” Winehouse recalls his daughter telling him.
The letter ends on a poignant note: “Sometimes listening to Amy’s music helps me; sometimes it makes me feel more sad. I miss Amy more than I can say. When I’ve finished writing this I’m going to sit down with a cup of tea and listen to Amy’s recording of ‘The Nearness of You.'”
You can read the article on Winehouse that appeared in Rolling Stone following her death last year here. Mitch Winehouse also recently penned a book, Amy, My Daughter, from which you can read an excerpt, in which he recounts the origins of her hit “Rehab.”