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Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues

Odetta

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Album Review

Odetta's debut album was a strong, confident effort featuring just her and her guitar on 16 tracks, most of which were traditional in origin. In its day, it was quite an influential recording; Bob Dylan, in fact, once cited this record in particular as the one that made him decide to trade in his electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustic guitar. Several of the songs would find their ways into the repertoires of subsequent folkies, and even some folk-rock bands. There's no way of knowing whether they heard the tunes first on this release, but it's entirely possible, as it was one of the first strong traditional folk LPs. It's now been reissued on CD, and retains a lot of its original appeal in the power and emotional depth of the performances.

Biography

Born: 31 December 1930 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the strongest voices in the folk revival and the civil rights movement, Odetta was born on New Year's Eve 1930 in Birmingham, AL. By the time she was six years old, she had moved with her younger sister and mother to Los Angeles. She showed a keen interest in music from the time she was a child, and when she was about ten years old, somewhere between church and school, her singing voice was discovered. Odetta's mother began saving money to pay for voice lessons for her, but was advised to...
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