A voice of the civil rights movement has died.
Odetta could sing anything. Blues, ballads, hymns and folk music..Odetta made it all sound beautiful. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin were influenced by her, and she sang their music as well. Click here to listen to her sing Dylan’s Masters of War.
She died at the age of 77 in NYC Tuesday. Of heart disease. She had hoped to sing at Obama’s inauguration next month. The NYT has a good piece up about her here. From the article:
Odetta sang at the march on Washington, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement, in August 1963. Her song that day was “O Freedom,” dating to slavery days: “O freedom, O freedom, O freedom over me, And before I’d be a slave, I’d be buried in my grave, And go home to my Lord and be free.”
Odetta Holmes was born in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 31, 1930, in the depths of the Depression. The music of that time and place — particularly prison songs and work songs recorded in the fields of the Deep South — shaped her life.
Rest in peace sweet woman.