Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain.
You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough.
You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling.
A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted.
If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.
I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been.
I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.
Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you - and kill you the long, slow, hard way.
Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.
No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know.
I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.
You've got to have something to eat, and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave.
In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three.
If I don't have friends, then I ain't got nothing.
One day a whole damn song fell into place in my head.
People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it.
There's no damn business like show business - you have to smile to keep from throwing up.
All dope can do for you is kill you... the long hard way. And it can kill the people you love right along with you.
I don't think I missed a single picture Billie Dove ever made. I was crazy for her. I tried to do my hair like her, and eventually, I borrowed her name.
You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
The difficult I'll do right now. The impossible will take a little while.
Love is like a faucet: it turns on and off.
Singing songs like 'The Man I Love' or 'Porgy' is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck, and I love roast duck.
They think they can make fuel from horse manure - now, I don't know if your car will be able to get 30 miles to the gallon, but it's sure gonna put a stop to siphoning.
Everyones got to be different. You can't copy anybody and end up with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. And without feeling, whatever you do amounts to nothing.
I don't think I ever sing the same way twice. The blues is sort of a mixed-up thing. You just have to feel it. Anything I do sing is part of my life.
I don't think I'm singing. I feel like I'm playing a horn...What comes out is what I feel.
The whole basis of my singing is feeling. Unless I feel something, I can't sing.
If nobody can learn from the past, then there's no point in raking it up.
I think I copied my style from Louis Armstrong. Because I used to like the big volume and the big sound that Bessie Smith got when she sang ... So I liked the feeling that Louis got and I wanted the big volume that Bessie Smith got. But I found that it didn't work with me, because I didn't have a big voice. So anyway between the two of them I sorta got Billie Holiday.
When you sing, always tell the truth.
And when you're poor, you grow up fast.
Them that's got shall get, Them that's not shall lose. So the Bible says, And it still is news. Mama may have, Papa may have, But God bless the child that's got his own.
You've got to have something to eat
Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose.
You can get in just as much trouble by being dumb and innocent as you can by breaking the law.
I can't stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession. If you can, then it ain't music, it's close order drill, or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.
God has blessed you when he lets you believe in somebody.
If you think dope is for kicks and for thrills, you're out of your mind. There are more kicks to be had in a good case of paralytic polio or by living in an iron lung.