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Stories about Odetta?

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Ianzblues 23 Jun 16 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy 23 Jun 16 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,henryp 24 Jun 16 - 02:31 AM
Stringsinger 24 Jun 16 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: Stories about Odetta?
From: Ianzblues
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 09:29 PM

I'm researching a biography of Odetta.

If you have any memories/stories/anecdotes or suggestions for avenues of research, I'd love to hear from you. PM me here or write to me at ianz90 at yahoo dot com.

Many thanks,

Ian Zack

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Subject: RE: Stories about Odetta?
From: GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 10:24 PM

I was the workshop coordinator for the Farrago Folk Festival in the mining town of Faro, Yukon Territory, I believe it was about 1979, when Odetta was one of the featured performers. One of the workshops I was putting together was called "Follow the Faith" and I wanted Odetta to be in it.   

The Festival coordinator called her about that........and then got back to me that no, she didn't want to be in that workshop.

When Odetta got to Faro I spoke to her and asked her about that.   She said.......oh.....I probably said I didn't want to be in a Gospel workshop. People think that because I'm black I sing gospel, and I don't.   But yes.....I do sing Spirituals.....and I'd love to be in that workshop.

So she ended up being a last minute addition.    And what an addition!

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Subject: RE: Stories about Odetta?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 02:31 AM

You'll find many recollections on the Mudcat thread;

Obit: Odetta has died (2 December 2008)

Like Art Thieme, Jim Couza confessed that he was a member of Fat Folk Singers of America. So was Odetta, he said, although he never had the courage to tell her.

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Subject: RE: Stories about Odetta?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 01:18 PM

We conducted an evening series called The Hot Club of Atlanta at a local, now defunct, concert space called the Freight Room. One evening, Odetta fronted our local band
and performed to everyone's surprise, the early popular latin song replete with the ostinato line, Brazil. She called our Monday night session, "the happy time".

At the inception of her career, she performed at a Los Angeles meeting of the IGWLU
and I accompanied her on harmonica.

One night, in Topanga Canyon, outside of Los Angeles on property purchased by Woody Guthrie, Odetta and the local L.A. folkies that I hung out with stayed up all night singing and making up blues verses.

Odetta, for some reason unknown to me, never acknowledged the role of her singing teacher Paul Reese from L.A. who suggested that she discontinue trying to sing like Marion Anderson and become a folksinger. Both Guy Carawan and I decided to study with Paul because he had taught Odetta.

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