The American folk singer and civil rights activist Odetta died yesterday.
Here is the singer’s obituary from the New York Times.
Odetta has been named an influence by everyone from Janis Joplin to Bob Dylan. Rosa Parks once said Odetta was her favorite singer. Her songs were the backdrop for the civil rights movement of the 1950s, 60s and 70s in the United States. She marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and she hoped to be well enough to sing at Barack Obama‘s inauguration in January.
Hearing Odetta sing live several years ago in Florida was one of the great thrills of my life. She sang blues, traditional folk songs, ballads and anthems. It was so powerfully moving. I bet everyone in that audience went home feeling their soul had lifted.