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Raoul Abdul

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Information about Raoul Abdul

Profile image of Raoul Abdul

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Classical Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Goulash (Hungarian)
Favorite Time of Year:
Not Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Austria
Favorite Quote:
Come little doll, give me a kiss. (Translated from German)

Birthplace

Born:
11/7/1929
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Classical Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Goulash (Hungarian)
Favorite Time of Year:
Not Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Austria
Favorite Quote:
Come little doll, give me a kiss. (Translated from German)

Birthplace

Born:
11/7/1929
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how Raoul Abdul is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Classical singer, author and former assistant to the legendary poet and writer Langston Hughes, Raoul Abdul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 7, 1929. Abdul’s father was from Calcutta, India, and his mother was able to trace her ancestry back to the pre-Revolutionary War period. Abdul attended John Hay High School, and later earned a diploma from the Vienna Academy of Music. He also studied at Harvard University, the New School for Social Research, the Cleveland Institute of Music, New York College of Music and the Mannes College of Music.

Abdul was involved in theater from an early age, participating in children’s theater productions by age six. Following graduation from high school, he began working as a journalist for the Cleveland Call & Post, and in 1951, at the age of twenty-two, he relocated to New York City. There, he began studying music, and sang with such notables as William Warfield and Marian Anderson. During this time, Abdul was a founding director of the Coffeehouse Concerts in Harlem, and was a singer in a number of performances, including shows at Carnegie Hall. In 1961, Abdul became the literary assistant and close friend to writer Langston Hughes, and he remained so until Hughes’ death in 1967.

In 1970, Abdul published his first book, 3000 Years of Black Poetry with author Alan Lomax. Over the next few years, he published several more volumes, including The Magic of Black Poetry, Famous Black Entertainers of Today, and Blacks in Classical Music. Abdul gave private voice lessons in his home in New York, based on the Austrian singing technique learned while studying in Vienna.

Abdul passed away on January 15, 2010 at the age of 80.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Raoul Abdul interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul talks about some of his favorite things
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul shares details about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul recalls his father's background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul recalls how his father capitalized on his Indian heritage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul shares details about his lineage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul discusses the reclamation of heritage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul remembers his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Raoul Abdul talks about racial passing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Raoul Abdul continues his discussion about his mother's relatives
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Raoul Abdul describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul shares some opinions on race and ethnicity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul shares childhood memories
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul discusses his father's funeral and his mother's remarriage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul describes some of the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Raoul Abdul remembers his early introduction to theater
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Raoul Abdul discusses various individuals
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Raoul Abdul talks about famous individuals
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Raoul Abdul comments on his manners as a youth
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul recalls the differences between himself and his elementary school classmates
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul remembers grade school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul discusses his high school experience
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul comments on his self-image
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Raoul Abdul talks about early mentors and pastimes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul reflects on his career in photography
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul recalls working for the Cleveland Call and Post
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul talks about prominent individuals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul recounts his interaction with prominent individuals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Raoul Abdul remembers the start of his career in music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul recalls his interaction with his voice instructor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul discusses black singers of German songs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul shares his impression of German culture
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul talks about aspects of his book
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul discusses his students and one of his books
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Raoul Abdul talks about various musicians
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Raoul Abdul discusses one his books
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Raoul Abdul reflects on his life and career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Raoul Abdul shares his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Raoul Abdul considers his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Raoul Abdul comments on German music
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Raoul Abdul considers his future endeavors
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Raoul Abdul discusses how he would like to be remembered