I wholeheartedly recommend Ian Zack’s book, Odetta: A Life in Music and Protest. My husband and I met Odetta in 1955, when we were all in our mid-20’s, and over the next 50 plus years we became very close friends. We shared many memories and confidences, as friends do. Odetta had a great sense of humor and a laugh that was as unique to her as was her speaking and singing voice. On more than one occasion I met her mother and got to know her sister Jimmie after she moved to New York. Odetta spent many hours with our family and in fact she gave us keys to her apartment in NYC, which she invited us to use when she was out of town. Mr. Zack’s portrait of Odetta is beautifully written, sensitive, loving and respectful. I hope this book will serve to revive a wide and renewed interest in her music. This is why I want to thank him.
—Selma Thaler, one of Odetta’s
best friends (used by permission)
Based on interviews with Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, Josh White Jr. and many others