Odetta Gordon was born on Dec 31, 1930 in Birmingham, Alabama. She was the first African-American political folk singer and influenced many other folkie-come-lately musicians of that era. In her post adolescence, Odetta switched from classical voice training to folk by teaching herself how to play the guitar. She also became involved in singing around the coffeehouse circuit in the early 1950s. As a folk singer and songwriter, she started to achieve notability when she began appearing live with Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte. After twenty-six albums, four music collections, and over fifty years as a folk singer, Odetta continues to sing with a deep, dominant and lucid voice.
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