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A Tribute to Odetta
On Feb. 24, at New York's massive Riverside Church, a memorial was held for Odetta
By Frank Beacham
(more articles from this author)
2009-03-01
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Tom Chapin, Christine Lavin, Oscar Brand, Steve Earle, Emory Joseph, Josh White Jr., David Amram, Peter & Bethany Yarrow, and Guy Davis sing "This Land is Your Land

Odetta Holmes, (December 31, 1930 - December 2, 2008), known simply as Odetta, was a very special lady. Armed with a great voice, classic songs, and a penetrating mind, she changed the world. Her contributions to modern music, civil rights and human justice made a real difference. Odetta died on Dec. 2, living to see the first black man elected President but not making it to sing at his inauguration.


Peter Yarrow with daughter Bethany and Brooklyn Tech Choir sing "Don't Laugh at Me"
On Feb. 24, at New York's massive Riverside Church, a memorial was held for Odetta. It featured a who's who of people influenced by her, including David Amram, Maya Angelou, Harry Belefonte, Oscar Brand, Tom Chapin, Wavy Gravy, Maria Muldaur, Bernice Reagon, Pete Seeger, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Josh White Jr. and Peter Yarrow, among many others.

At a time when the city's economy is in shambles and life was starting to look a little dreary, the vision of Odetta shined brightly over New York City. She proved that without monetary wealth, a truly committed individual can make a significant difference in people's lives.


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