No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
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.
People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it.
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.
I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.
I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been.
There's no damn business like show business - you have to smile to keep from throwing up.
One day a whole damn song fell into place in my head.
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.
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.
I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.
You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling.
Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough.
A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted.
Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three.
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.
If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.
If I don't have friends, then I ain't got nothing.
Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose.
Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain.
Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.
I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know.