Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Folk legend Odetta hospitalized

Say a prayer for Odetta, who hopes to sing at Barack Obama's inaugural. Her Odetta Sings Dylan album has long been a favorite. Via Pollstar, a letter from her manager:
Dear Friends of Odetta,

On behalf of Odetta's adopted daughter Michelle Esrick and her niece Jan Ford (in California), I would like to share with you - Odetta's large extended family of brothers and sisters - the current health crisis in her life. On Saturday, she went into Lenox Hill Hospital for a check-up and IV nourishment. However, on Sunday evening she went into kidney failure, and we were told that the next 24 hours would determine if she would survive.

Miraculously, she made it through that emergency, but is still listed in critical condition. I was on the road when she went in the hospital and rushed back on Sunday. Jan and I are thankful that Michelle was here and has been by Odetta's side every moment of this ordeal.

Odetta believes she is going to sing at Obama's Inauguration, and I believe that is the reason she is still alive. She has a big poster of Barack Obama taped on the wall across from her bed. Her old heart has already outperformed and lasted far beyond the expectations of the heart specialists who treated her in January-March 2007 when she had her last health crisis while touring out West. Now compounded with the kidney failure, the doctors at the hospital are trying to do everything possible to stabilize her system and prevent the weakening of her other organs. They have her on dialysis now to rid the body of the toxic poisons that have built up, and it seems to be slowly working. She is sleeping a lot, but after a dialysis treatment and some food, she is coherent and talking. She is not in pain. We are told that she will be in the ICU Unit for at least another week, and that we'll just have to wait and see after that.

All of you are well aware of Odetta's indomitable spirit. Accordingly, I wouldn't bet against her singing for Barack in January!

If you would like to send a card, I know that she would love to hear from you (address of the hospital is below).

Ms. Odetta Gordon
Room # 719, 7th Floor ICU Unit
100 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10021

Warmest regards,
Doug Yeager