The late Nina Simone’s younger brother, Sam Waymon, who played in her band for years, joined our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast for a uniquely intimate look at his legendary sister’s life and music. In a discussion with host Brian Hiatt and David Browne (who wrote about Simone’s enduring influence), Waymon discussed Simone’s civil rights activism, her famous performance three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the development of her genre-blurring style, her difficult later years, and much more.
“Nina didn’t trust many people,” he said, discussing what it was like to back her in concert. “You don’t mess with her music. You either could play it or you couldn’t. She had high standards, yes. But if you want to call yourself a musician, then you should appreciate those standards.”
Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, Alicia Keys, Phoebe Bridgers, the National, Ice Cube, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast on SiriusXM’s Volume, channel 106.