Odetta (December 31, 1930 - December 2, 2008) was an African-American singer whose repertoire consists largely of American folk music, blues, and spirituals.
She was born Odetta Holmes in Birmingham, Alabama, grew up in Los Angeles, California, and studied music at Los Angeles City College. Having operatic training from the age of 13, her first professional experience was in musical theater, with a touring company of the musical Finian's Rainbow in 1949.
While on tour with Finian's Rainbow, Odetta "fell in with an enthusiastic group of…
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