: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"