"If only one could be sure that every 50 years a voice and a soul like Odetta's would come along, the centuries would pass so quickly and painlessly we would hardly recognize time"
– Maya Angelou, Poet Laureate
From a 2005 NPR story:
Odetta Holmes Felious Gordon has shaped American folk music for more than 50 years. Born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1930, Odetta lost her father at a young age. Her mother remarried and gave the children their stepfather's name, Felious.
At age 6, Odetta moved to Los Angeles, where she began to study music seriously at age 13. While studying opera at Los Angeles City College, she discovered folk music.
For the rest, including a live interview and performances, click here.