Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues
Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues CD cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch or April 1957[1]
RecordedSan Francisco, California,
September 1956
GenreFolk, blues, vocal, calypso
Length45:14 (reissue)
TLP 1010 (LP)
ProducerDean Gitter
Odetta chronology
The Tin Angel - Odetta & Larry
Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues
At the Gate of Horn
Original cover (1956)
The vinyl cover of Ballads and Blues
The vinyl cover of Ballads and Blues
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues is the debut solo album by American folk singer Odetta, first released in March or April 1957.[1]

Like much of Odetta's early work, Ballads and Blues combines traditional songs (e.g. spirituals) with blues covers. Some songs on this album were also recorded for Odetta & Larry's 1954 album The Tin Angel.

The initial vinyl release has tracks 1-8 as side A, then tracks 9-16 as side B (the "Spiritual Trilogy" being counted as one track, a medley). The "enhanced" CD version of this album, released in 2005, contains four bonus tracks and has a slightly different cover with a different photo of the singer. Some tracks are included on the Collectables re-release The Best of Odetta.

Bob Dylan singled this album out as one of his favorites by Odetta; indeed, it was albums like this that inspired him to play folk music instead of rock 'n' roll.[3]

In 2021, the album was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Santy Anno" (Traditional) – 1:55
  2. "If I Had a Ribbon Bow" (Huey Prince, Lou Singer) – 2:42
  3. "Muleskinner Blues" (Jimmie Rodgers) – 2:51
  4. "Another Man Done Gone" (Traditional) – 2:11
  5. "Shame and Scandal" (Traditional) – 2:23
  6. "Jack o' Diamonds" (Traditional) – 3:15
  7. "'Buked and Scorned" (Traditional) – 2:40
  8. "Easy Rider" (Traditional) – 5:06
  9. "Joshua" (Traditional) – 1:53
  10. "Hound Dog" (Traditional) – 3:50
  11. "Glory, Glory" (Traditional) – 2:12
  12. "Alabama Bound" (Huddie Ledbetter) – 1:42
  13. "Been in the Pen" (Traditional) – 2:32
  14. "Deep Blue Sea" (Traditional) – 3:00
  15. "God's Gonna Cut You Down" (Traditional) – 1:51
  16. Spiritual Trilogy: "Oh, Freedom", "Come and Go With Me", "I'm on My Way" (Traditional) – 6:06

2005 CD bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" (Traditional)' – 1:53
  2. "Take This Hammer" (Ledbetter) – 3:27
  3. "Deep River" (Traditional) – 3:00
  4. "Chilly Winds" (Traditional) – 2:41



  1. ^ a b Canby, Edward (April 1957). "The New Recordings". Harper's Magazine. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Playboy interview with Bob Dylan, 1978
  4. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (March 24, 2021). "Janet Jackson and Kermit the Frog Added to National Recording Registry". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2021.