nora brockstedt week (day 1)

famous norwegian singer nora brockstedt will turn 85 this week - and in her honour you will find a big birthday special right here. from now until sunday (which is her birthday) you'll get at least one song a day.

but first you get a few facts about her life that i (who does not speak norwegian) was able to collect:

nora brockstedt, born nora berg on 20 January 1923, started her career back in 1942 in a prestigious oslo variete called chat noir. inspired by jazz and blues singers like ella fitzgerald and billie holliday she became one of the most successful artists in norway over the next 20 years, both as a solo artist and as a member of the pop group the monn keys. back then she did not only sing in norwegian but also in swedish, english and even icelandic. in 1960 and 1961 she represented norway at the eurovision song contest and during the 1960s she recorded a big bunch of pop and jazz songs, some translated versions of international hits and also quite a few children songs.

i don't know what she's been doing between the 1970s and 1990s - but in 2004 and 2005 she released two new albums. "as time goes by" includes jazz standards like "he's funny that way", "ain't misbehavin'" or "i get a kick out of you", the other album is a christmas record. she still performs live (at least she did only short time ago) - and judging by the most current pictures i guess everyone would love to have her as a grandmother. jan eggum, a famous norwegian singer who's been working on a norwegian music lexicon, calls her "the greatest norwegian pop music artist of all time".

personally i just love nora brockstedt's voice. it's not as big and full like ella fitzgerald's voice but it's still quite special and unique as it reflects so many different facettes. it sounds innocent and mature at the same time, happy and melancholic. even when nora brockstedt was already beyond her 40th birthday she could make you believe she was a young girl. and even though she did not always pick the coolest songs on earth you can tell by her repertoire that the lady's got taste.

the first song here is also her best known i think. it's her 1960 eurovision entry called "voi voi" which marked norway's debut at the eurovision song contest and became fourth. it's not a milestone of deepness but a pleasant little singalong which can put a smile on your face.

nora brockstedt not only recorded it in norwegian but also in swedish and english the same year, later she re-recorded it with bjelleklang and most recently there was a cover (or a song with an extended sample) by norwegian rap outfit the superstars. besides that i know about a different norwegian version by inger jacobsen and a finnish one by brita koivunen. but right now we'll leave it with the nora-versions. here we go...

nora brockstedt - voi voi (1960)
nora brockstedt - voi voi (swedish version, 1960)
nora brockstedt - big boy (english version, 1960)
bjelleklang feat. nora brockstedt - voi voi (2006)
superstars feat. nora brockstedt - voi voi (2005?)

"voi voi" lyrics (with english translation)
a detailed article @ mic.no (in norwegian)

"voi voi" live at the eurovision song contest
superstars feat nora brockstedt - voi voi

double cd @ enjoy.no
downloads @ musicfromnorway.com
downloads @ musikkonline.no

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