In Memoriam: Images of Notable People Who Passed in 2008

In Memoriam: Images of Notable People Who Passed in 2008

Music: Mavis Staples/Hard Times

In Memoriam: Images of Notable People Who Passed in 2008

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The Lives They Lived: The Music They Made

The Lives They Lived: The Music They Made

With the new year approaching, The New York Times has taken note of some of the lives that ended in the past 12 months.  This is their 15th annual Lives They Lived issue, which doesn’t claim to be comprehensive or definitive in their choices of the people whose lives are described. Instead, this is an unabashedly idiosyncratic collection, driven by the interests, passions and whims of their editors and writers, who hope that readers are moved, tickled, intrigued and provoked by reading about these 24 very different lives, all memorably lived.

In addition to The Lives They Lived, the Times presents The Music They Made, in the form of a musical sound collage featuring a sampling of the musicians who died this year.  The musicians presented include Odetta, Mike Smith (The Dave Clark Five), Rick Wright (Pink Floyd), Eddy Arnold, Isaac Hayes, Miriam Makeba, Nick Reynolds and John Stewart (The Kingston Trio), Buddy Miles and others.

The Music They Made: A Musical Montage

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Odetta, Singer for the American Civil Rights Movement, Dies

Odetta: The Voice of the American Civil Rights Movement

Odetta: Songs of Personal and Social Liberation

Odetta, the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and the civil rights movement, died on Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital (NYC) at the age of 77.  She had been hoping to sing at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration in January.  Odetta, who sang at coffeehouses and at Carnegie Hall, made highly influential recordings of blues and ballads, and became one of the most widely known folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s.   She was a formative influence on dozens of artists, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin.

Her voice was an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in the quest to end racial discrimination.  Rosa Parks, the woman who started the boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, was once asked which songs meant the most to her.  She replied, “All of the songs Odetta sings.”

Read more here.

Odetta: Singer for the Civil Rights Movement

Odetta Singing “Glory Halleluja”

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