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Abbey Lincoln biographical timeline

Abbey Lincoln in Paris, 1967. Photo: Philippe Gras / Le Pictorium

1930

1930 Born Anna Marie Wooldridge in Chicago, Illinois on August 6, 1930.

1930
1951

Moves to California to perform in nightclubs.

1951
1952

Moves to Honolulu, Hawaii to be a resident singer in a club.

1952
1954

Returns to California and performs and various clubs.

1954
1955

Records her first album, “Abbey Lincoln’s Affair: A Story of a Girl in Love.”

1955
1956

Performs a song in the film, “The Girl Can’t Help It.”

1956
1957

Moves to New York and begins working at the Village Vanguard, a jazz club in Greenwich Village.

1957
1957

Releases the album, “That’s Him!”

1957
1958

Releases the album, “It’s Magic.”

1958
1959

Releases the album, “Abbey Is Blue.”

1959
1960

Records and releases the “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite” with Max Roach.

1960
1961

Releases the album, “Straight Ahead.”

1961
1962

Marries Max Roach.

1962
1964

Release of her film, “Nothing but a Man.”

1964
Throughout the 1960s

With Max Roach, Lincoln plays a large role in civil rights activism through performances at benefits and fundraisers for the NAACP and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Throughout the 1960s
1968

Release of her film, “For the Love of Ivy.”

1968
1973

Releases the album “People in Me,” her first lead album in 12 years after “Straight Ahead.”

1973
1984

Releases the album, “Talking to the Sun,” under Enja Records.

1984
1987

Releases the albums “Abbey Sings Billie, Vol. 1” and “Abbey Sings Billie, Vol. 2” as a tribute to Billie Holiday with Enja Records.

1987
1990

Stars in Spike Lee’s movie, “Mo’ Better Blues.” Signs with Verve Records. Releases the album, “The World Is Falling Down.”

1990
1991

Releases the album, “You Gotta Pay the Band.”

1991
1992

Releases the album, “Devil’s Got Your Tongue.”

1992
1993

Releases the album, “When There is Love.”

1993
1995

Releases the album, “A Turtle’s Dream.”

1995
1995

Releases the album, “Painted Lady.”

1995
1997

Releases the albums “Who Used to Dance” and "You & I."

1997
1999

Releases the album, “Wholly Earth.”

1999
2000

Releases the album, “Over the Years.”

2000
2003

Releases the album, “It’s Me.”

2003
2005-06

Releases the album, “Naturally.”

2005-06
2007

Lincoln records her last album before her death, titled “Abbey Sings Abbey.”

2007
2010

Abbey Lincoln dies in her home in New York on August 14, 2010 at the age of 80.

2010
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