Odetta Celebrates Her 75th Birthday on December 31

First Night Boston announced that folk legend Odetta will perform two shows at the Berklee Performance Center as part of this year’s festivities on December 31, 2005. Odetta celebrates her 75th birthday at First Night. Over the course of the last half-century, she has become one of the most celebrated figures in music. She has sung for Presidents, walked arm-in-arm with great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and served as an inspiration to several generations of musicians, most famously Bob Dylan.

Odetta found her way into the folk music scene in the early 1950s, singing at the famed Hungry i and the Tin Angel in San Francisco and the Blue Angel in New York, where her appearances caused Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte to become champions of her remarkable talent. She recorded her first album, appropriately titled Tin Angel, in 1954 and subsequently cut two vastly influential live LPs in the 1960s, Odetta at Carnegie Hall and Odetta at Town Hall, followed by the studio album Odetta Sings Dylan – the first completely dedicated to his songs. The relationship between Odetta and Dylan dates back to 1960 when it is said she advised the young Minnesotan, even before he reached NYC, that if he stayed with music he would most likely succeed.

Odetta’s Performance at Berklee is presented in association with media partners The Bay State Banner and WUMB Folk Radio.

First Night Boston, the original citywide festival of the arts, is the country’s oldest and largest New Year’s Eve arts celebration. On December 31, 2005 from noon to midnight, First Night presents its 30th annual day-long festival of art, music, dance, ice sculpture, and more. First Night is an alcohol-free event that welcomes children, families and revelers of all ages to celebrate community and unity through the arts.

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