Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads

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Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads
Ballad Odetta.jpg
Studio album by Odetta
Released 1960
Genre Folk, blues
Label Vanguard
Odetta chronology
My Eyes Have Seen
(1959)My Eyes Have Seen1959
Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads
(1959)
Odetta at Carnegie Hall
(1960)Odetta at Carnegie Hall1960

Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads is an album by American folk singer Odetta, first released in 1960. It is now out of print.

Background[edit]

The title song was written by Earl Robinson who had been blacklisted during the Red Scare in the US. Allmusic states: "Odetta's rendition has a vitality and immediacy that puts it squarely in the thick of 1960, in the middle of the civil rights movement's heyday, at a time when Paul Robeson, because of age and infirmity, and years of fighting the government's efforts to silence him, was in eclipse as an artist."

Ballad For Americans and Other American Ballads was re-released on CD along with Odetta at Carnegie Hall on the Italian label Universe. It is difficult to locate as an import.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [2]

In his review for Allmusic, critic Bruce Eder wrote the album was Odetta's "most ambitious album up to this point in time—and for some years to come." He singled out "Pastures of Plenty," as one of the best tracks, calling it "a rendition so ominous and provocative that it rates with the best this reviewer has ever heard (which are Guthrie's own and Dylan's early-'60s officially unreleased version)."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ballad for Americans" (Earl Robinson) – 11:44
  2. "This Land" (Woody Guthrie) – 2:20
  3. "On Top of Old Smokey" (Traditional) – 3:02
  4. "Hush Little Baby" (Traditional) – 1:32
  5. "Dark as a Dungeon" (Merle Travis) – 4:21
  6. "Great Historical Bum" (Guthrie) – 1:58
  7. "Payday at Coal Creek" (Traditional) – 3:30
  8. "Going Home" (Traditional) – 2:42
  9. "Pastures of Plenty" (Woody Guthrie) 4:02

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic entry for compilation Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads/Odetta at Carnegie Hall.
  2. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 11, 2016.