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Golden Lady: Abbey Lincoln in Music and Film

by Dzimas
Golden Lady: Abbey Lincoln in Music and Film by Dzimas
I have long had a soft spot for the sultry vocals of Abbey Lincoln. She started out as a night club singer, pretty much like her cameo in The Girl Can’t Help It. Her earlier recordings can be found on Affair. Benny Carter wrote many of the arrangements. She later met Max Roach, who set a new course for her on the classic Freedom Now Suite, We Insist!. This had a great impact on Abbey, leading her to change her name to Aminata Moseka, but it didn’t stick. Today, her wonderful joint effort with Archie Shepp, Golden Lady , is released as Abbey Lincoln. She played a leading role in the Civil Rights era film, Nothing But a Man, which… Read more

I have long had a soft spot for the sultry vocals of Abbey Lincoln. She started out as a night club singer, pretty much like her cameo in The Girl Can’t Help It. Her earlier recordings can be found on Affair. Benny Carter wrote many of the arrangements. She later met Max Roach, who set a new course for her on the classic Freedom Now Suite, We Insist!. This had a great impact on Abbey, leading her to change her name to Aminata Moseka, but it didn’t stick. Today, her wonderful joint effort with Archie Shepp, Golden Lady , is released as Abbey Lincoln.

She played a leading role in the Civil Rights era film, Nothing But a Man, which chronicled a young black couple’s struggle to cope in a segregated South, with Ivan Dixon as her husband. For those who remember as Kinchloe in Hogan’s Hero, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. This led to a role alongside Sidney Poitier in For Love of Ivy.

She seemed to struggle trough the 70s, appearing in a handful of television shows like Marcus Welby, MD, All in the Family and along side Greg Morris in the episode, Cat’s Paw, from Mission Impossible. She would reappear in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues in the 90s, but she is best remembered for her music, notably her comeback album You Gotta Pay the Band ,which featured Stan Getz in one of his last performances.

Surprisingly, her songs have been rarely featured in films. For All We Know was used in Drugstore Cowboy. She passed away in 2010. Her discography is much longer than her filmography but here are a handful of films worth noting. For obvious reasons, I put Nothing But a Man first,

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