Coffee Break: BIPOC folk music icons

Odetta on A Prairie Home Companion
Odetta in a performance of A Prairie Home Companion from April 9, 2005 (MPR Photo/Melissa Sperl)

Bob Dylan said she was "the first thing that turned me on to folk singing." Joan Baez called her the Queen of Folk. When Rosa Parks was asked what songs inspire her most, she replied, "Essentially, all the songs Odetta sings."

Who are we talking about? Odetta - singer, actress, guitarist, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement".

For today's Rock and Roll Book Club selection, Jay Gabler brought by 'Odetta: A Life in Music and Protest' by Ian Zack -- a biography he says is "very, very long overdue".

So for today's 9:30 Coffee Break, inspired by the story of Odetta, what BIPOC folk music icons do you want to hear?

Respond with your song ideas in the comments below.

Have an idea for a Coffee Break topic? Submit your idea for a future theme and browse past Coffee Breaks in our archive.

Songs played

Rodriguez - Cause
Leadbelly - Goodnight, Irene
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Trouble In Your Mind
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier
Odetta - Cotton Fields
Richie Havens - The Klan
Big Bill Broonzy - C. C. Rider
Harry Belafonte - Banana Boat Song (Day O)


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