A Long Detour
November 17, 2008
Odetta Gordon was part of the touring company for the musical Finian’s Rainbow in 1949 when she dropped in on a folk music club and turned her world upside down. Thereafter she was a key figure in the burgeoning folk revival, and her political activism earned her the title “Queen of folk music” from Martin Luther King Jr. Bob Dylan cites her as an early inspiration; Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez have performed alongside her. Now hospitalized with kidney failure at the age of 77, Odetta is determined to perform at Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony, and considering her level of determination I wouldn’t bet against it happening.
Her family encourages fans and well-wishes to offer their encouragement by writing to Ms. Odetta Gordon; Room No. 719, 7th Floor ICU Unit; Lenox Hill Hospital; 100 East 77th Street; New York, NY, 10021.