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Get the Songs of Odetta


A benefit compilation curated by Wears The Trousers magazine
Released November 30, 2009 (download / limited edition CD)

“The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta” – Bob Dylan
“Odetta was a goddess. Her passion moved me. I learned everything she sang” – Joan Baez

Dubbed the “Queen of American folk music” by Martin Luther King Jr in 1961, Odetta Holmes was one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th century and an important voice of the Civil Rights Movement. A powerhouse vocalist who toured well into her 70s, often performing from a wheelchair in later years, she released some 25 albums over her impressive career. By the time she died on December 2, 2008, Odetta had amassed a vast catalogue of folk, blues and spiritual songs and it’s from all corners of this that the songs of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta are drawn.

Curated by Wears The Trousers editors Alan Pedder and Charlotte Richardson Andrews, this heartfelt, diverse tribute reimagines some of Odetta’s signature tunes, underlining how her wide-ranging and enduring influence transcends any perceived boundaries of age, race or genre. With exclusive new tracks from established independent artists like Ane Brun, Marissa Nadler and Liz Durrett and newcomers like Haunted Stereo and Katey Brooks, Beautiful Star revisits not only the many traditional songs Odetta helped to revive (‘Santy Anno’, ‘If I Had A Ribbon Bow’) and the familiar classics (‘All The Pretty Little Horses’, ‘This Little Light Of Mine’), but also some of her lesser known recordings like the haunting title track, one of the few songs Odetta wrote herself. What these 16 tracks share above all else is a love for the material and a profound respect for the woman who did much to popularise it.

“If only one could be sure that every 50 years a voice and a soul like Odetta's would come along, the centuries would pass so quickly and painlessly we would hardly recognise time” – Maya Angelou

First established as an online magazine in 2005 and now in print, Wears The Trousers ( has grown into a respected voice for women in the music industry. All profits from sales of the album will be split evenly between two charities chosen by Wears The Trousers in recognition of their incredible work on behalf of women. The Fawcett Society ( is the UK’s leading organisation campaigning for equality between women and men, making real differences in women’s lives by creating awareness, leading debate and driving change. The Women’s Resource Centre ( works to bring women’s organisations together, helping them to be more effective and sustainable.

LINDA DRAPER, ‘Sail Away Ladies’ / ANE BRUN, ‘If I Had A Ribbon Bow’ / GEMMA RAY, ‘900 Miles’ / ANAÏS MITCHELL, ‘All My Trials’ / HAUNTED STEREO, ‘Santy Anno’ / MADAM, ‘Waterboy’ / SANDY DILLON, ‘Can't Afford To Lose My Man’ [live] / ORA COGAN, ‘Motherless Child’ / JOSEPHINE ONIYAMA, ‘The Gallows Pole’ / PEPI GINSBERG, ‘Beautiful Star’ / SOCIETY OF IMAGINARY FRIENDS, ‘Another Man Done Gone’ / MARISSA NADLER, ‘All My Trials’ / KELLI ALI, ‘All The Pretty Little Horses’ / KATEY BROOKS, ‘What A Friend We Have’ / LIZ DURRETT, ‘Chilly Winds’ / ARBOREA, ‘This Little Light Of Mine

A limited number of physical copies of Beautiful Star: The Songs Of Odetta will be made available directly through the Wears The Trousers website, to pre-order from mid-November.

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