Sunday, August 12, 2012

Odetta: Glory Glory

Yesterday I was talking to my brother and we briefly talked about the folk singer Odetta. Classically trained, Odetta’s voice was smooth and perfect – a contrast to some of the more rough and twangy vocals of other folk singers prior to the 60s folk explosion.  Some of the newer voices were obviously influenced by Odetta’s clean style. Even those who did not have Odetta’s talent towards tonality gravitated towards folk music because of this early icon. According to Bob Dylan, after hearing Odetta’s debut album he traded his electric guitar for an acoustic Gibson guitar.

The album was “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues” and it features our Spiritual Sunday song: “Glory Glory.” My familiarity of this traditional spiritual is with the song named alternately as “When I Lay My Burden Down,” “Lay My Burden Down,” and “Burden Down.” Odetta calls this same tune “Glory Glory” and she does a nice a cappella version on her 1956 debut album.

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