ODETTA "Voice of the Civil Rights Movement" will be honored in New York on Tuesday, July 17th by Historical Landmark Preservation Society

On Tuesday, July 17th, from 2:00 - 3:00 pm, the Historical Landmark Preservation Society will be unveiling an ODETTA Cultural Medallion Plaque on the face of the building where she lived for more than forty years, at 1270 Fifth Avenue (between 108th and 109th Streets). 

Prominent speakers and performers will be participating in the ceremonies, including David Amram, Henry Butler, Tom Chapin, Judy Collins, Guy Davis, Dave Keyes and special guests. A reception will immediately follow under the tent and in the lobby of the building from 3:00 – 4:00 pm.   

ODETTA, born Odetta Holmes, on December 31, 1930 in Birmingham, Alabama, was a celebrated singer, actress and revered civil rights activist who performed for the marchers in Selma and at the 1963 March on Washington.  Martin Luther King, Jr. anointed her Queen of American Folk Music; and when Rosa Parks was asked which songs of the Civil Rights era mattered the most to her, she responded, "Essentially all of the songs Odetta sings."  With songs such as “This Little Light of Mine,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” "Amazing Grace,"  “Kumbaya” “Freedom Trilogy” and “Midnight Special,”  Odetta was a major influence on the careers of Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Judy Collins, Richie Havens, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Tracy Chapman.  Despite struggling with serious health issues the last decade of her life, she continued to give spellbinding performances around the world up until her final days.  Odetta died on December 2, 2008.  President Bill Clinton, who had presented Odetta with the National Medal of Arts & Humanities in 1999, noted, "Odetta reminds us all that songs have the power to change the heart and change the world."  
WHEN:  2:00 – 3:00 pm, Tuesday, July 17, 2012, followed by a reception
WHERE:  1270 Fifth Avenue (between 108th and 109th Streets)         
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xscVJAYL0wo – ODETTA “Water Boy” (1959)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaya8jYZBO8 - ODETTA "House of the Rising Sun" (2006)