In 1964, Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie released her debut album, the 13-song It's My Way!. The album contained at least three of the songs for which Sainte-Marie is best known: "Universal Soldier," "Cod'ine," and "Now That the Buffalo's Gone." But the title track, which closes the album, is really the statement of intent from the 23-year-old Sainte-Marie. "I've got my own path that only I can go," she sings. "I've got my own plan that only I can know."
In May, Sainte-Marie will release her 18th studio album, Power in the Blood. It contains an updated version of "It's My Way," which Sainte-Marie shared with NPR's "Songs We Love" program this week. Sainte-Marie's new take rocks a lot harder than the acoustic-guitar original, but the song has just as much bite as it did 51 years ago, and her famous vibrato is on point.
Here's a very young Buffy, future institution of Native music, doing "It's My Way" on her 1964 album of the same name (stay tuned for more details about Power in the Blood):