Abe Lincoln

Abram “Abe” Lincoln was born in Lancaster, PA on March 29, 1907.

At the age of 5, Abe began playing cornet. Under the direction of his father, Abe would practice scales every day and had to play them correctly each night before being permitted to go to bed. Not only would Abe have to play the scales correctly, he had to name the notes, name the fingering and the value of the notes. Soon, Abe was practicing marches, polkas - anything his father could get his hands on for him to play. However, contrary to his father's wishes, Abe would frequently ad lib around the melody. It was at this point that Abe's talent for improvisation began to emerge.

In 1926, Abe replaced Tommy Dorsey in the California Ramblers. Also during the 20's, he worked with Arthur Lange and Ace Brigode. After stints with Roger Wolfe Kahn and Paul Whiteman, Abe joined Ozzie Nelson's band in 1934 and stayed for five years. In 1939 he moved to Hollywood and spent many years as a studio musician.

With the onset of the Dixieland revival in the 1940's, Abe worked and recorded with many small jazz bands. In the 1960's, he was mainly active as a freelancer, although he spent a brief period with the Village Stompers and with Wild Bill Davison in early 1967. In 1976, Abe was featured at the annual Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

Some of the more memorable recordings of Abe's playing: Coast Concert led by Bobby Hackett, where Abe trades “fours” with Jack Teagarden; with Matty Matlock's Paducah Patrol records on the Warner Brothers label, and with the Rampart Street Paraders. Abe also appears on the soundtrack of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon series.

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