Contralto, civil rights symbol Odetta died

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by marleyisalegend, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. marleyisalegend

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    :frown1::frown1::frown1::frown1:

    Odetta, 77; Sang the Soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement - washingtonpost.com

    I was first introduced to Odetta through Janis Joplin. No, I didn't get high and have a talk with Joplin who died a decade before I was born, I watched a Janis Joplin documentary where Odetta was listed as one of Janis' vocal influences. I'm like, "If this chick influenced Janis Joplin, she MUST be badass."

    I went to the library and rented one of her CD's and made one of those discoveries that I'd carry for the rest of my life. I'm definitely a lifelong member of the Odetta fan club.

    She had a clear, direct contralto that weaves around LIVE INSTRUMENTATION like silk. Her vocal presence was Earthy and heavy. If I walked past her on the street and she were singing I would just have to be late for work that day.

    Take note Rihanna. It didn't matter that Odetta wasn't a size 2 because her talent was her voice, not skankin it up in music videos. She had an uncanny ability to meld straight-forward operatic vocals with blues melodies, something that's easier said than done.

    She sang the soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement and is considered an unsung hero among people who listen to music that isn't drowning in synthesizers and vocoders.

    Here she is singing a song from another of my blues favorites, Leadbelly's "Bourgeios Blues." To some of you some time, don't bother clicking this link if you only enjoy the likes of Madonna, Britney, and Rihanna. There's no choreography, no loud horns, it's just a chick and a piano.

    YouTube - Odetta Live in concert 2005, "Bourgeois Blues"

    Here she is in her younger days singing "Water Boy"
     
  2. Northland

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    This is terribly sad news.

    I'm not too sure just when it was I first ran into the beautiful voice of Odetta. It may have been as far back as the late 60s or early 70s. There was a record album of hers which had been brought into our home-although nobody ever took credit for having done it. By the early 80s I had run into the old folkster himself Dave Van Ronk who had been given a big push from Odetta back in the 50s when he was just getting started in the coffee house scene. (Van Ronk cashed in his chips back in February of 2002). He would bring her up at times-although he was more likely than not to go on about Jelly Roll Morton and it was clear he respected her (Odetta) and how she'd encouraged him.

    At any rate, it is sad to see that she has passed on. A wonderful person with a wonderful voice who will be missed; but, in many ways she will continue to live on.

    Odetta, voice of rights movement, dies-USA-World-The Times of India


    Odetta Holmes dies at 77; folk singer championed black history, civil rights -
     
  3. marleyisalegend

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    I didn't think this one would get much fan-fare.
     
  4. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    A news item is upcoming here on the News. She was too famous to not report on.
     
  5. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Wasn't it she that Sandra Bernhard imitated in the film of her show? Wrapped in african garb....They call me sister love..............?
     
  6. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    I shouldn't have said 'aped' I should have said 'paid homage to....'
     
  7. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    She's a BIG American gem. Right alongside Big Maybelle, Alberta Hunter, Bessie Smith and countless women who paved their way, said something, meant something and pioneered on.
     
  8. tripod

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    I came to know her music through her work in the civil rights movement. She is legendary and is one of the nation's best and most accomplished folk singers. I am a big Pete Seeger fan and he just adored Odetta. She was on my show Democracy Now for the first anniversary of 9/11. She looked so damn good then, I honestly thought that this was a healthy and sturdy woman that is aging like fine wine at the time. She was an entirely BEAUTIFUL woman inside and out. I have to confess that the first time that I ever heard her sing, that I was startled and stunned to say the least!!!! She will be SORELY missed. :frown1:
     
  9. marleyisalegend

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    Amen hellskitchenman. The women you mentioned as well as Odetta were pioneers. Because of the time period, they were often glazed over. Of course they don't get much fan-fare now because now people only care about music if the artist is cute and slim and light-skinned and sings with auto-tune. I don't even think the average "music" fan knows what a REAL voice sounds like.
     
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