Odetta, singer
birth name: Odetta Holmes


December 31, 1930, Birmingham, AL ~ December 2, 2008, New York, NY

The name Odetta is probably unfamiliar to most people in the generation raised on MTV, yet she is one of the pillars of twentieth-century music. A folksinger distinguished by the power and clarity of her voice as well as the richness and intensity of her delivery, Odetta has also functioned as a living archive of music. By tirelessly researching, recording, and touring, and drawing on a variety of musical genres, she has kept alive the legacy of early folk and blues singers, including Bessie Smith and Leadbelly. Odetta has had a significant influence on modern music, providing inspiration for such performers as Janis Joplin and Joan Armatrading. ~ Musicianguide: Odetta ~ retrieved December 28, 2013 © Musicianguide

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December 31, 1977 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Linda Ronstadt, Blue Bayou ~ #2 (2) Debby Boone, You Light Up My Life ~ #1 (1) Bee Gees, How Deep Is Your Love


Singer, actress, civil rights activist, and folk music legend Odetta is one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. She has toured the world singing folk, blues, Negro spirituals, jazz, and work and protest songs, telling the stories of America’s southern experience. Her 1950s and 1960s classic recordings of He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, Amazing Grace, and This Little Light of Mine became folk and spiritual classics throughout the world. Deeply moving her audiences with a message of hope, love, and social change, Odetta is credited with inspiring some of the great performers of the second half of the 20th century - Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Janis Joplin, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Joan Baez. Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading are among her notable “musical daughters.” ~ National Visionary Leadership Project: Odetta ~ retrieved December 2, 2013 © National Visionairy Leadership Project

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