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Abbey Lincoln

  • American musician
  • Born August 6, 1930

Anna Marie Wooldridge (August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010), known by her stage name Abbey Lincoln, was an African-American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. She was a civil rights advocate and activist from the 1960s on. Lincoln made a career not only out of delivering deeply felt presentations of standards but writing and singing her own material as well.


It's a spirit that was given me and the relationships and meeting all these great people, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong; through Max I met a lot of people too. My first album was with Benny Carter.




I was looking for the people who were making the music inside the cabinet. I would look in there and see if I could find somebody who was making all this wonderful music.




But I've been there and done that. I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody, and if somebody wants me to come, if they can afford what I ask, it's not as much as Madonna makes; not that I want what Madonna makes, but I was saying.




There are men and women still on the streets, and that's all they are saying Can you spare a quarter? I come from a crowd of people who were current on the outlook on life, who were social and knew where they were and had some input into how things seemed to be.




I loved Billie Holiday more than any other person other than myself on the stage. Yeah, I do.




I think that's what really a substantial work is, it's forever. It's the truth now and it was the truth then, and it will be the truth tomorrow.




I remember hearing the song when I was 12 or 14 in - it must have been in Chicago, 'cause we didn't have a radio on the farm, and it was during the second World War. I had three brothers in that war who went overseas.




I don't have to lay on the couch and see a therapist because my therapist is in my paint brushes.



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