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C6 ABBEY LINCOLN, 80 Jazz singer approached music, style with integrity by Matt Schudel Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer


and actress of unshakable integ- rity who transformed her image from that of a slinky chanteuse to an oracle of hard-won wisdom, died Aug. 14 in New York. She had been in precarious health since having open-heart surgery in 2007, but the precise cause of death could not be learned. She was 80. Ms. Lincoln found early fame


as a sex-kitten supper-club singer and made a cameo appearance in the campy 1956 teen film “The Girl Can’t Help It,” starring Jayne Mansfield. After meeting and lat- er marrying jazz drummer Max Roach, she became one of the first entertainers to make civil rights and racial pride an overt cause. She was a noted film ac- tress in the 1960s, then retreated to obscurity before staging a re- markable comeback in the 1990s as a singer, songwriter and spirit- ual elder. “Certain people inside the Afri- can-American experience . . . act as griots, bearers of the culture,” singer Cassandra Wilson told Newsweek magazine in 1992. “Paul Robeson was something like that. And so is she.” Soon after making “The Girl


Can’t Help It,” in which she ap- peared in a sparkly dress previ- ously worn by Marilyn Monroe, Ms. Lincoln abandoned her come-hither style and the form- fitting gowns that went with it. She even burned the dress in an incinerator, she said, as a symbol of personal emancipation. She stopped straightening her hair and in 1959 released one of her most memorable early al- bums, “Abbey Is Blue.” In 1960, she and Roach made the then- radical recording “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite,” which has been called the first outright protest album. It includ- ed Roach’s thundering drums and Ms. Lincoln’s occasional shrieks and moans, representing


dwindle. Turning to acting, she starred with Ivan Dixon in the 1964 racial drama “Nothing But a Man” and as a maid opposite Sid- ney Poitier in “For Love of Ivy” (1968). The films were among the first Hollywood depictions of ma- ture, loving relationships be- tween black women and black men. After her eight-year marriage to Roach ended, Ms. Lincoln spent the 1970s caring for her mother in Los Angeles. She taught acting, traveled in Africa and concentrated on writing songs. In the early 1980s, she set- tled in New York and returned to performing, with a distinctly fresh approach. “I don’t scream anymore,” she said. “I sing about my life.” She drew inspiration from one of her idols, Billie Holiday, paring her singing to an unembellished minimum. Unlike many jazz sing- ers, Ms. Lincoln indulged in little improvisation or scatting, the singing of wordless syllables in rapid sequence.


“I learned from Billie,” she told BRAD BARKET/GETTY IMAGES


Abbey Lincoln simplified her singing style. “It isn’t about showing how good your voice is,” she said. “It’s about saying something.”


oppression and hardship. “That was one of the most thrilling experiences I ever had,” the album’s producer, Nat Hen- toff, said Saturday. “Everything


was at a high level of intensity.” Other critics, however, derided


Ms. Lincoln for introducing a po- litical element to jazz, and her op- portunities to record began to


The Washington Post in 2006. “It isn’t about showing how good your voice is. It’s about saying something.” Lacking the elastic vocal range of her early years, Ms. Lincoln found a new emotional depth in such later recordings as “The World Is Falling Down” (1990), “Devil’s Got Your Tongue” (1993), “A Turtle’s Dream” (1995) and “Who Used to Dance” (1996). Her 1991 album, “You Gotta Pay the Band,” featured original songs as well as a haunting rendi- tion of the 1930s standard “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” The recording gained much of its lyrical poignancy from some the final performances of saxophon- ist Stan Getz, who died of cancer soon after.


“Stan helped save my career,”


Ms. Lincoln said in 1999. “When- ever a great musician works with you, it’s an endorsement.” Ms. Lincoln performed at the Kennedy Center during the 2006


JOHN NEW, 89


Engineer pioneered satellite tests for NASA


by Matt Schudel John New, 89, an engineer at


NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who developed a series of methods and facilities for testing satellites during the early days of space flight, died July 28 at the Renaissance Gardens assisted liv- ing facility in Silver Spring. He had pneumonia. In 1959, Mr. New joined the re- cently formed Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt as the founding director of what be- came known as the Test and Eval- uation Division. With meager re- sources, he set up a laboratory in a converted warehouse and soon expanded it to include dozens of buildings. Much of the early equipment was borrowed or handmade, as Mr. New and his engineers devel- oped facilities and tests to ensure that early satellites could with- stand the intense sunlight, stress and gravity encountered in space. Within two years, NASA had successfully launched three satel- lites, each of which had under- gone rigorous testing by Mr. New’s staff. The goal of the un- manned orbiting laboratories, in the words of NASA’s first admin- istrator, T. Keith Glennan, was “to expand human knowledge about space for the benefit and peaceful use of mankind.” Mr. New and NASA engineers designed and built a launch sim- ulator, vacuum chambers and fa- cilities to test electromagnetism, vibration, heat and other envi- ronmental conditions in space. He continued to oversee the steady expansion of Goddard’s fa- cilities, equipment and staff for more than 15 years. “He was an early pioneer at


NASA,” said Ed Powers, an engi- neer and colleague who has worked at Goddard since 1962. “He was absolutely the initiator of this operation. Many, if not most of the major facilities he es- tablished in the early ’60s and ’70s are still in active use.” The expansive NASA labora-


tory that Mr. New designed be- came the model for others around the world and was fea- tured in documentaries. He ac- companied many dignitaries on visits, including “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy and entertainer Ethel Merman. After retiring from NASA in 1976, Mr. New was president of a


Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and released her fi- nal album, “Abbey Sings Abbey,” in 2007.


“She was always moving


ahead,” Hentoff said. “She had a presence. She was always so indi- vidual.”


She was born Anna Marie


Wooldridge in Chicago on Aug. 6, 1930, and grew up in rural Michi- gan as the tenth of 12 children. Drawn to music at an early age, she moved to Los Angeles at 19 and modeled her early career af- ter Lena Horne. From 1952 to 1954, she per- formed in Honolulu under the stage name Anna Marie, then re- turned to Los Angeles, where she adopted the name Gaby Lee. In 1956, she came up with Abbey Lincoln — a combination of West- minster Abbey and Abraham Lin- coln. After meeting Roach in 1957,


Ms. Lincoln became friends with other jazz musicians, including Thelonious Monk, who encour- aged her in her first efforts as a songwriter. Ms. Lincoln spent more than a month in a psychiatric hospital after her divorce from Roach in 1970 and never remarried. Survi- vors include two brothers and a sister. In 1990, Ms. Lincoln returned


to acting with a small role in Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” but had mixed feelings about the film and about black artists who held African American life up to ridi- cule. She was particularly critical of Michael Jackson and his physi- cal transformation: “He’s bril- liant; he can sing and dance in the tradition of his African ances- tors, but he curses them by eras- ing them from his face and hair.” In her later years, through her majestic performances and her uncompromising integrity, Ms. Lincoln came to be seen as some- thing of the guiding conscience of jazz.


“Sing a song correctly,” she said, “and you live forever.” schudelm@washpost.com


S


KLMNO OBITUARIES


SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2010


Barbara J. Hampton PSYCHOLOGIST


Barbara J. Hampton, 84, a re- tired psychologist in private prac- tice who spent many years with the old D.C. Institute of Mental Hygiene, died Aug. 5 at her home in Washington. She had compli- cations related to dementia. Dr. Hampton began her career in 1961 with the old Family and Child Services. She later moved to the D.C. Institute of Mental Hy- giene, where she worked through the early 1980s. After she opened a private


practice, she continued to work for the institute’s field placement office as a mentor to students working toward master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology. She retired in 2000. She was born Barbara Jean


Hawk and was a native of Bryan, Ohio. She was a 1945 graduate the old Western College for Wom- en in Oxford, Ohio. She received a master’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 1948 and a doctorate in psychol- ogy from New York University in 1955.


She volunteered for several Democratic presidential cam- paigns, including those of John F. Kennedy, Hubert H. Humphrey and Jimmy Carter. In 2004, Dr. Hampton pub- lished “My Tiny Watching Eye,” a book of essays about her experi- ences as a psychotherapist. Her husband of 48 years, Jo- seph. E. Hampton, died in 1996. Survivors include two children, Allison Hampton of Washington and Michael Hampton of Brook- lyn, N.Y.; and two grandchildren. — Megan Buerger


Carl R. Henn NIH EMPLOYEE, ACTIVIST


Carl R. Henn, 48, a National In- stitutes of Health manager and Rockville resident who helped es- tablish community


gardens


around his neighborhood, died July 27 at Washington Hospital Center. Two days earlier, Mr. Henn was


attending a community garden picnic in his honor at the King Farm park in Rock- ville when he was apparent- ly struck by lightning dur- ing a torren- tial thunder- storm that af- ternoon over the Washington area. Mr. Henn was one of four peo- ple in the region who died as a re- sult of the severe storm. Mr. Henn helped establish three gardens in the Rockville area in which members of the community collaborated to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables and shared their harvests. Mr. Henn was also a volunteer with the Rockville Bike Advisory Committee and the city’s Envi- ronment Commission. Carl Raman Henn was born in


Carl R. Henn


NASA PHOTO


John New was founding director of a satellite-testing program at Goddard Space Flight Center.


farming corporation in Spotsyl- vania County and did much of the work in the fields himself, raising corn and soybeans. He was a founder and past president of the Virginia Corn Growers Associa- tion. He also formed a company that built energy-efficient homes in Prince George’s County. John Calhoun New was born


Aug. 9, 1920, in Warrensburg, Mo., and grew up on a nearby farm. He graduated from the Uni- versity of Missouri in 1943, joined the Navy and spent the final two years of World War II as an engi- neer at the Naval Ordnance Labo- ratory at White Oak. He received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1950. During his 15 years at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Mr. New designed the nine-hole White Oak Golf Course for employees. Today, it is a public course main- tained by Montgomery County. He received career awards from the Navy and NASA and was president of the Society for Ex- perimental Stress Analysis. He was also a member of First Bap- tist Church in the District, where he and his wife were longtime leaders of youth groups. Mr. New lived in Lanham for


many years before retiring to Sil- ver Spring. His wife of 55 years, Mildred


Estes New, died in 2000. Survivors include two children,


Deborah Lowry of Alexandria and Brian New of Sellersburg, Ind.; and a grandson. schudelm@washpost.com


Springfield, Ohio. He was a 1984 political science and public ad- ministration graduate of Ohio Northern University and received a master’s degree in public ad- ministration from American Uni- versity in 1986. He joined the NIH in 1990 and began working as an acquisition career manager, responsible for overseeing the professional cre- dentials for research contracts, in the late 1990s. Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Carol Wilkes Henn, and their two daughters, Jessica Henn and Allison Henn, all of Rockville; his parents, Dwight and Diane Henn of Georgetown, Tex.; two brothers; and a sister. — T. Rees Shapiro


Anne O. Hering EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


Anne O. Hering, 90, an exec- utive secretary at the National Labor Relations Board from 1963 to 1983, died Aug. 3 at a hospital in Blacksburg, Va., from an esophageal rupture. During her retirement, Mrs.


Hering volunteered for the Na- tional Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center for the Per- forming Arts.


Anne Osler was a native of En-


glewood, N.J., and graduated in 1940 from the old Katharine Gibbs School in New York. Short- ly after, she married Alexander C. Hering, a Navy surgeon. She ac- companied him on his military assignments before settling in the Washington area in 1963. Last year, she moved to an as- sisted living home in Blacksburg from Washington. Her marriage to Dr. Alexander


C. Hering ended in divorce. Survivors include two children, Sheila Darby of Christiansburg, Va., and Bruce Hering of Rock- ville; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. — Megan Buerger


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