Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Odetta (1930-2008)

Odetta, the renowned folksinger and civil-rights activist, passed away last night at the age of 77.

She had been hoping to perform at Barack Obama’s inauguration next month... in spite of her failing health.

The New York Times obituary is here.

I blogged about Odetta in May... with a link to an extraordinary 28-minute FREE MP3. If you didn’t download “Suite: Ancestors 1” back then, you should do that today.


Francisco said...

R.I.P. Odetta. I was listening to NPR this morning when they played a clip of her wonderful, strong voice. I sooo wish you could've sang at Obama's inauguration, but you got to see the promised land at least. Bob Dylan better show up for the funeral. Just Sayin'

Moanerplicity said...

Fellow blogger Marvin told me about you in an email, so I decided to visit your page. I only wish it had been a day when there was better news to read.

WOW! Seems we JUST LOST Mother Africa in the form of Sista Makeba, now Odetta is gone, too? I had not heard this news until right now. I'm trying to process it. She was a mad unique presence in music, and she offered songs that this country needed to hear, and to hear them from a Black Woman!

She has earned her space in history and a vital place in the corners this country's memory. I can only hope that younger people who are not aware of her importance will be somehow curious enough to educate themselves about the value of her contribution.

Sad news.

Rest In Peace, Freedom Song Singer!


S.O.L. said...

UBM, I should have known you would have covered this for me. I happened to click on the NY Times website last night and saw the news. I immediately put on the 27-minute Kerrville MP3 you turned me onto and played it throughout the house. Loud. Know how I first discovered Odetta? My Dad's record collection - no lie. Right between Bessie Smith and Mex Mezzrow. Who knew my Pop was such a cool cat?

Beautiful tribute, Moanerplicity -- well said.

Natty Boh said...

Francisco said...
Bob Dylan better show up for the funeral. Just Sayin'

I don't think Dylan needs you to remind him of the influence Odetta had on his music and his life. Read a little more and discover the influence Mr. Dylan had on Odetta. She recorded an entire album of his songs. Two great, great artists and she will be missed immensely...

phx said...

Oh, no. said...

Hello there,

Another legend has gone...too soon.

Thanks for remembering her!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa said...

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Believe...and receive!

Undercover Black Man said...

Another legend has gone...too soon.

This has been a crazy sad year, Lisa. Odetta... Miriam Makeba... Bo Diddley... Levi Stubbs... Norman Whitfield... Isaac Hayes... Johnny Griffin... Sonny Okosun... Buddy Miles... Jimmy McGriff...

Bellingham View said...

The "Tavis Smiley" show re-broadcast its January 2008 interview with Odetta (featuring a performance) last night in tribute.

Here's a link for those interested:

Such beautiful dignity.