This takes me right back to the late sixties, early seventies: Audrey, Ethel, and the black gospel I grew up with. This was mother’s milk to me, musically speaking. I practiced my scales, Hanon and Beethoven.  But I thrived on gospel. 


She is the hero of my hero, Eric Bibb.
She has a regal bearing.  She wears dignity.
She makes you want to stand up.


December 31, 1930 ~ December 2, 2008


8 thoughts on “Odetta

  1. Interesting that in all the news of her death here in the Bay Area, she was referred to as a “folk” singer, rather than a Gospel singer. Hmm….And as long as you’re mentioning Illinois, the newspaper today had a front-page story about the governor being arrested for trying to sell off Obama’s Senate seat to the “highest bidder.”  See, everything bad doesn’t ALWAYS come from California

  2. Okay, I loved Odetta and wept when I heard she was gone. I wore out her albums and can still hear them in my heart. She absolutely was a folk singer who often sang gospel (black) gospel songs. I tried with all my heart to sound like her (HA) She enlarged my heart. I love you Carol, for loving Odetta as well. Did you know that Miriam Makeba also died the same week?

  3. this is all new to me.  I grew up with Mahalia Jackson, but hadn’t heard any of these others.  Tell me about Eric Bibb…I googled him and found his website.  I liked the video you linked and would like to hear more of Odetta, that is for sure.  I’m not sure I’m liking Eric’s sound, though.Thank for enlarging my borders…

  4. @roseteacup – No, I hadn’t heard about Miriam Makeba’s death.  I loved your comment about Odetta: “she enlarged my heart.”  We’ll have to have a hairbrush party (where you hold the hairbrushes like mikes), throw back our heads and belt it out.  After your Pette Midler picture, I can see it!  Oh yeah!@MargaretinVa – my favorite Eric Bibb CD is “An Evening with Eric Bibb.”  You can sample at Amazon.  He loves his wife and sings about her a lot.  Fidelity in a blues singer, how ’bout that?  Oh Margaret, I can’t rest until I’ve converted you to an Eric fan!  A group of us went to hear Eric Bibb last January.  I wrote about it here.

  5. i don’t know these singers! How cool you grew up on gospel– My youngest daughter and her hubby looked at a house for sale across from a church. It was a Sunday afternoon when we looked at it, and the choir was practicing. As we stood out front waiting for the realtor, across the street came the full, joyful sound of a gospel choir. We just stood and smiled and enjoyed.

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