In the liner notes Belafonte wrote for her album My Eyes Have Seen, he wrote, “Few… possess that fine understanding of a song’s meaning which transforms it from a melody into a dramatic experience. Odetta, who has influenced me greatly in this area of dramatic interpretation, is just such an artist.”
Later, Odetta marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and lent her voice to the American civil rights movement.
Here, Odetta speaks with Steve Inskeep and shares some songs. Her stories round out a Morning Edition series on “The Long View,” featuring discussions with people who have performed at the height of their field for decades. "