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The Best of the Vanguard Years

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The Best of the Vanguard Years

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Midnight Special
Cotton Fields
Special Delivery Blues
Rambling Round Your City
Cool Water
Down On Me
I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain/Water Boy: I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain / Water Boy
Sara Jane
Battle Hymn Of The Republic
If I Had A Hammer
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
Meetin’ At The Building
No More Auction Block For Me
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Spoken Introduction: He Had A Long Chain On
Another Man Done Gone
He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands
Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
Livin’ With The Blues
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
House Of The Rising Sun
House of the Rising Son

Performer Notes:

  • Personnel includes: Odetta (vocals, guitar); Bill Lee (acoustic bass).
  • Recorded in New York, New York and live at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York in 1963. Includes liner notes by Samuel Charters.
  • All tracks have been digitally remastered.
  • Odetta began recording in the mid-‘50s but her best known work (and easiest to find) is from her early-‘60s stay with Vanguard Records, the period that this introductory compilation is drawn from, and these clear, uncluttered and focused tracks make a fine introduction to this dedicated singer. Odetta, like so many other great American singers, discovered her voice in church, but she also has a background in theater, so when the folk revival hit with commercial force in the ’60s, she knew exactly how to present her traditional material in concert for the greatest dramatic effect, a trait that made her a striking figure on the scene. These recordings brim with sincerity and power and underscore the fact that Odetta, much like Harry Belafonte before her, works the artful end of folk song, interpreting to theatric taste rather than reproducing a facsimile of the source material. She remains a riveting and intellectually fulfilling performer, all of which comes through in this anthology. ~ Steve Leggett

Professional Reviews: Dirty Linen (6-7/99, p.68) – “…spellbinding and powerful. Odetta delivers, and her soul-searching renditions of classic work songs haven’t lost their shine…”

Producer: Tom Vickers

Format: CD (1 Disc); Stereo

Country: USA

Studio/Live: Studio

Release Date: 1 January, 1999

Label: Vanguard Records

Dimensions: 12.57 × 14.22 × 1.02 centimeters (0.09 kg)

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