Probably seems like an odd combination, but these two names have been on my mind a lot recently.
Odetta, as you know, passed away last week at the age of 77 from heart failure. I happened to catch a recorded performance, which aired on PBS a month or so ago, from her 2008 tour. She was moving very slowly and had to be assisted up the stairs by her accompanist, but there was nothing weak about her voice. What a commanding presence she had!
My favorite of hers is probably "House of the Rising Sun." Pay attention, while you're listening, to how she maintains pitch while singing a cappella in the middle of this beautiful rendition of the piece.
Our local PBS station is in the middle of another fund-raising drive, and one can always look forward to special performance treats as they try to solicit much needed monies to stay on the air with all their wonderful and diverse programming.
A couple of nights ago the feature was the 25th anniversary live concert with large screen images of Elvis singing - reminded me of Natalie Cole singing "with" her father (remember that album?).
[I waited table on Elvis and two of his friends once - way back in the dark ages, early 50's. I can remember thinking how 'greasy-looking' their hair was. Lots and lots of goop had to be applied so their hair would stay 'just so'. Any of you old enough to remember that era? And sideburns. Remember those? My goodness, my goodness!]
This video was one of many included that evening, but it is not from the 25th anniversary concert. Rather, it is as he sang it on one of his concert tours. Here it is, "An American Trilogy".
Elvis was another with perfect pitch. A very talented man. Flashy? Yes, but just listen - again and again, if you wish - and enjoy.