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NOD TO THE GODS: Shirley Bassey, ‘Jezahel’
February 2, 2014
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Each and every Sunday night when the clock hits eight, The Strombo Show celebrates the spirit of radio over on CBC Radio 2. It's music for music lovers by music lovers. To kick off the program, we always tip our hats to the legends, the noisemakers and the ground-breakers in a segment that we like to call: Nod to the Gods.

Tonight we're celebrating a Dame Shirley Bassey track that doesn't quite get the attention it deserves. Bassey is well known for her James Bond theme songs "Diamonds Are Forever," "Moonraker" and of course, "Goldfinger."

Bassey was the sixth child born into a Nigerian and English family in Wales. She sang in her school choir, but left secondary school at 14 to work in a factory — while performing in clubs on the evenings and weekends.

Tucked away on Bassey's 1972 album And I Love You So, "Jezahel" was originally recorded by an Italian band called Delirium; their version was an underground hit in Europe.

Bassey's take was sampled by Public Enemy for their 2007 release "Harder Than You Think," which became one of their most successful singles (widely used as sports anthem, it was the soundtrack for Channel 4′s coverage of the 2012 London Paralympic Games). Her chorus to "Diamonds Are Forever," meanwhile, was sampled by Kanye West on his single, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone":

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived here.


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