Secret ABBA photos… Anna’s baby daughter

TV Week 4 September 1976

These pictures are the first published in Australia of Linda, the 3½-year-old ABBA baby.

Linda is the daughter of Agnetha (Anna), the beautiful blonde ABBA singer, and her husband Bjorn.

Although Anna and Bjorn have made no secret of the fact that they have a daughter they have been reluctant to allow pictures of her to be published.

However, Bjorn’s father, Gunnar Ulvaeus, in a letter to Sydney newspaper columnist Molly Dye and her grand-daughter, Lisa Murray, gave permission for the pictures on these pages to be published.

He did this in return for the kindness shown by Molly and Lisa in sending him newspaper clippings of ABBA’s Australian visit earlier this year.

Apart from the picture of the ABBA baby, Mr Ulvaeus also sent pictures of Bjorn as a youth, and his hopes then for his son’s future.

In his letter Mr Ulvaeus said: “I suppose that my very dear son Bjorn has given you my name and address as I am the one who has collected all available clippings and photos since he started his comet-like career in the world of song and music.

“…. The pictures were taken when we had the children on a two-day visit some weeks ago.

“As you can see Agnetha and Bjorn’s little daughter Linda is a fantastically charming little witch.

“As for Bjorn’s background I can tell you that his mother and I married when I was a young and gay lieutenant of the infantry.

“After one year Bjorn was born in April 25th, 1945, and after three more years he got a little sister.

“About Bjorn’s musical abilities, we, his mother and I, didn’t know a thing until he was about 12-years-old.

“Then one day he asked his loving father, could he get a guitar?

“Of course that harsh person already next day bought him a brand new one. What a happy boy!

“Now you must know that when the children were small their father often used to put one child on each knee and, playing the mandolin, sang the songs and sagas of our wild ancestors, the Vikings, and even of the old soldiers from my own regiment.

“As I myself had lost a fortune in shipbuilding I had decided that my son should be a world-famous shipbuilder with the highest possible degrees.

“But he chose to be a musician – and all of us are happy!

“Perhaps I should mention how it happened that Benny and Bjorn started their team-work. It was like this. Benny worked with a group, very famous, called The Hep Stars and Bjorn with The Hootenanny Singers.

“These two groups were very popular in Sweden, as well as in all Europe, and the boys liked each other well.

“So once they met in the neighbourhood of Vastervik.

“Benny and Bjorn had the feeling of making a melody and in the middle of the night (about 03:00 a.m.) they arrived at our house, Bjorn darts in and asks: “Father, may Benny and I sit in your cellar-room, we have a new melody in the making.”

“‘Well, my son’, I say, “Don’t you understand that with your high-sounding music you will possibly awake half the town? I know a better way. Put your gears in the car again, and I will find out a better plan.”

“We got on the way and drove out to the paper mill where I work.

“At that time I had my office a bit apart from the head office.

“There I planted these two promising young men – and that’s the way it started 

“I understand by your letter that you like all the four of ABBA and, indeed, I can tell you, that if they look nice and clean it’s only the outward signs of their hearts and minds”

“….Yours very affectionately.

Gunnar Ulvaeus.”

Photos: (1) Anna helps 3½-year-old Linda rug up against the Swedish Winter. (2) Anna, Bjorn and Linda leaves their home for a visit to Stockholm. (3) Bjorn, Anna and Linda, the “fantastically charming little witch.”

© 1976 New Idea. Thanks to Samuel Inglles