Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Before I Go Any Further

Good Afternoon, Bloggy Friends.

I just can't go any further in my blogging without first paying tribute to two iconic ladies who recently passed away, Eartha Kitt and Odetta. Each of these ladies made a important impact the world, not only as African-American females who broke the barrier in a difficult business, but as out-spoken advocates to the rights of all humanity. I've had them on my mind for some time now, but with the rush of the holidays I never felt that I could write a blog that did them justice. I'm here today with my attempt at a tribute.

Odetta passed away on December 2, 2008, only a day before my very own birthday. She made her mark in this world with her music. She became famous singing spirituals, the blues and folk music. Her mastery influenced some of our greatest artists, including Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. She used her undeniable musical talent to help lend a voice to the civil rights movement of the 1960's. With her powerful songwriting skills, and vocal abilities, she took the stage to help ignite a fire of passion within the civil rights community. I consider it among one of my greatest blessings to have had the chance to see her live in the last year of her life. She performed at the Sister Rosetta Tharpe Benefit Concert Alan and I attended in January. She stole the evening with her heartfelt renderings of some of the greatest folk classics. I will never forget that evening. She touched me in an inspiring way. Long live Odetta.

Miss Eartha Kitt left this world on December 25, 2008. Most of you would recognize her as the seductive Catwoman in the 1960's television series, Batman. We also inevitably hear her voice each Christmas as she coos through the all-time classic she made famous, "Santa Baby." She made a name for herself as an actress, starring mainly on Broadway and in various cabarets. She also had a successful recording career. She was an exciting, exotic personality that kept audiences yearning for more. In her later years, Eartha Kitt became an outspoken proponent for the gay rights movement. I know her memory will always be kept alive in the hearts and desires of gay men everywhere!

These are two fabulous, legendary ladies who deserve a moment of silence as we all take the time to recognize their contribution to the betterment of our society. I hope you all have a fantastic afternoon. Below I am attaching a video of Odetta performing at the Sister Rosetta Tharpe Benefit last year. Amazing. I will send a free Odetta CD to the first Bloggy Friend who comments. I'll talk to you soon!

Love, Josh


Rick Watson said...

Girl, I won your Pata Pata CD last time by being the first to comment. Maybe you give this one to the next person. I feel I should share.

Anyway... losing Eartha Kitt touched me deeply. She's has been a part of my soul for my entire gay life that I can remember. I've seen so many drag queens over the past decades pay tribute to Eartha by performing her songs. She is definitely a gay icon, no doubt! Bless her soul as it will live on within us all, so will her music and film career!

Odetta I didn't know much of besides what I learned from you Josh. Bless her soul as well.

The two soul divas will be missed!

Casey said...

Hey... nice post. I'm with Rick too though... I dont want to be a cd hog from you since I got one a while back.

Like Rick, I didnt know anything about Odetta until they talked about her passing on The View. I'm glad you had a chance to see her in person.

I was definitely sad about Eartha. Listening to NPR on the way back to Nashville on Christmas Day, they replayed some interviews she had given to them. There were a lot of things I didnt know about her that were interesting. I did think it was somewhat fitting that she died on Christmas (with the whole Santa Baby song). Sounds like she had a fascinating life.

Anonymous said...

Why, the color of the type on this page looks readable and oh so perfect on my NEW COMPUTER.

The Bloggy Bitch is back, soul sister.

Talking with you about black divas and soul music is like talking about scarves with Audrey Hepburn. I'm out of my depth. Like Casey, I never knew about Odetta. And I'm ... old enough to have known. Shame on my ass!

Note that I have never won a cd on this damn blog before. Hee-hee! I love you and I am SO FREAKIN' GLAD TO BE BACK. This was my second stop (after email).