Signup for a folk alley account

Jeff Black's Christmas Special Podcast

December 24, 2008

Jeff Black is one of our absolute favorite Nashvillian singer/songwriters. Check out Jeff's Special Christmas Podcast here - and if he is new to you, we encourage you to visit his website sometime to get better aquainted!

Posted by Linda Fahey at 8:58 AM

Download the Alleycast - December 2008

December 22, 2008

odetta5.jpg christmas.jpg

Download December's Alleycast to hear our exclusive concert recording featuring John Jorgenson, our in-studio session with Robin & Linda Williams, the Open Mic sounds of Tom Fairnie from Scotland, and hear a holiday montage of songs heard in our Holiday Stream. To close out the Alleycast, we'll honor the memory of Odetta. Download the Alleycast today!

Posted by Chris Boros at 2:54 PM

Folk Alley's Favorite CDs of 2008

December 6, 2008

npr_music_logo.gif In the coming days, we'll post Folk Alley staff and host's Favorite CDs of 2008 on this website, but if you'd like to see a preview, snapshot sampler of our individual lists - check out the the NPRMusic website. There you'll see 10 examples of our Top Picks of the Year, as submitted by Chris Boros, Ann Verwiebe, Jim Blum, Doug Hite (Jim Blum's trusty production assistant) and me.

To see our Top CD Lists from 2007 and 2006 - click here!

Posted by Linda Fahey at 9:06 AM

Folk Blues Legend Odetta dies at 77

December 3, 2008

odetta.jpgWe are very saddened to annouce the passing of the great folk blues legend, Odetta. She was 77 years old. Odetta had recently been hospitalized in New York City for kidney failure, and succumbed to heart failure on Tuesday.

On a personal note, I will remember the first time I met Odetta at the Town Hall Theater in NYC, when I was booking the musical guests for A Prairie Home Companion. As soon as she walked through the door for sound check that day, her commanding presence and energy filled the room. She was a strong, funny, wise and gracious woman.

Here's Odetta's obituary sent from her record label - M.C. Records:

Odetta was born in Birmingham Alabama, Dec. 31 1930.

Her father, Reuben Holmes, died when she was young, and in 1937 she and her mother, Flora Sanders, moved to Los Angeles. Three years later, Odetta discovered that she could sing.

She found her own voice by listening to blues, jazz and folk music from the African-American and Anglo-American traditions. She earned a music degree from Los Angeles City College. Her training in classical music and musical theater was "a nice exercise, but it had nothing to do with my life," she said.

In 1950, Odetta began singing professionally in a West Coast production of the musical "Finian's Rainbow," but she found a stronger calling in the bohemian coffeehouses of San Francisco. "We would finish our play, we'd go to the joint, and people would sit around playing guitars and singing songs and it felt like home," she said.

She began singing in nightclubs, cutting a striking figure with her guitar and her close-cropped hair.

Her voice plunged deep and soared high, and her songs blended the personal and the political, the theatrical and the spiritual. Her first solo album, "Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues," resonated with an audience hearing old songs made new.

Bob Dylan, referring to that recording, said in a 1978 interview, "The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta." He said he heard something "vital and personal," and added, "I learned all the songs on that record." It was her first, and the songs were "Mule Skinner," "Jack of Diamonds," "Water Boy," " 'Buked and Scorned."

Her blues and spirituals led directly to her work for the civil rights movement. They were two rivers running together, she said in her interview with The Times. The words and music captured "the fury and frustration that I had growing up."

Her fame hit a peak in 1963, when she marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and performed for President John F. Kennedy. But after King was assassinated in 1968, the wind went out of the sails of the civil rights movement and the songs of protest and resistance that had been the movement's soundtrack. Odetta's fame flagged for years thereafter.

In 1999 President Bill Clinton awarded Odetta the National Endowment for the Arts

Odetta was married three times: to Don Gordon, to Gary Shead, and, in 1977, to the blues musician Iverson Minter, known professionally as Louisiana Red. The first two marriages ended in divorce; Mr. Minter moved to Germany in 1983 to pursue his performing career.

She was singing and performing well into the 21st century, and her influence stayed strong.

The critic called her "a majestic figure in American music, a direct gateway to bygone generations that feel so foreign today."

Posted by Linda Fahey at 11:14 AM | Comments (2)

Remembering Odetta

Odetta at the Newport Folk Festival

Odetta with Rad Lorkovic on the Travis Smiley Show - January 2008

Odetta with the Holmes Brothers - Philly Folk Festival 2003

Odetta Sings Midnight Special on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour

Posted by Linda Fahey at 9:55 AM

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!


Recent Topics



April 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30               

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003