Gone But Not Forgotten: Satchmo.com's annual tribute to musicians who left us in the previous year is now online; the Gone But Not Forgotten 2002 page also has links to prior years' listings of departed musicians.
Jazz Passing: Arvell Shaw, long-time bassist with Louis Armstrong's All Stars band, passed away on December 5th in Manhattan at age 79; Shaw joined Satchmo's big band in 1945, and was one of the few musicians Pops kept on when he migrated to the smaller All Stars band format; Shaw played off and on with the All Stars until Armstrong's passing in 1971; Shaw spoke and performed at the Louis Armstrong Centennial celebrations held in New Orleans in August, 2001.
Battiste Joins History Makers: New Orleans-born musician, composer, arranger, producer and music educator Harold Battiste was recently interviewed for addition to The HistoryMakers, a Chicago-based video oral archive dedicated to preserving African American history; also being added to the archive are interviews with Xavier University president Norman Francis, poet Kalamu ya Salaam and chef Leah Chase.
McGraw CD Debuts at #2: Tim McGraw has launched his new album with a career-landmark sales debut of 601,745, placing "Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors" at #2 on Billboard's Country Album chart and Top 200 Album chart; McGraw is one of only four country artists to debut at 600,000 sales or more in their first week; "Dancehall Doctors" was kept out of first place on both charts by Shania Twain's latest.
Smokey Joe on HBO: the final performance of Broadway's "Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller" will air on the HBO Signature channel in early 2003; the revue of classic rock and r&b songs of the 50's, featuring Tony nominated New Orleanian BJ Crosby, was the longest-running musical revue on Broadway, with 2036 performances; other cast members include Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey, Matt Bogart, Brenda Braxton, Victor Trent Cook, DeLee Lively, Deb Lyons, Frederick B. Owens, and Virginia Woodruff.
Hanks A Lot: father and son Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III will share the same stage for the first time when the Grand Ole Opry commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Hank Williams on January 4, 2003; the special, which will be televised on CMT, will feature Williams' son and grandson performing the legendary star's timeless classics and celebrating his musical legacy.
54th Platoon Feeds Hungry: Fubu Records recording artists 54th Platoon will be in the 9th Ward on Monday, November 25th to give away 1,500 Thanksgiving turkeys to families in need; group members T.L., Nu Black, JS and Big Nut will be handing out the turkeys at Stallings Playground, beginning at 1:00 pm.
Give The Drummers Some: the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band are featured in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film, "Drumline"; the movie, about a talented street drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a Southern university hoping to lead it's marching band to victory, hits theaters on December 13th; the GSU band will be in town on Nov. 30 to compete against the Southern University Marching Band in the annual Bayou Classic football match-up in the 'Dome (airs nationally on NBC).
Freedom Rings: recordings by Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly are featured on "Freedom: Songs From The Heart of America", a 3-CD musical companion to the upcoming TV series "Freedom: A History of US"; the groundbreaking 16-part series premiers nationally on PBS beginning January 12, 2003.
Cash Money Gives Back: local label Cash Money Records will be hosting their 4th annual Turkey Giveaway on Monday, November 25th at A.L. Davis Park; the event, targeting the city's needy, will be attended by Mayor Ray Nagin; Cash Money will be represented by producer Mannie Fresh, Co-CEO's Ronald "Slim" Williams and Brian "Baby" Williams, and rap star Lil Wayne.
Golden Oldies: the Dixie Cups and Jimmy Clanton are among the 3 dozen artists featured on "Red, White & Rock", the latest installment in the PBS concert series, "American Soundtrack"; the show will air on PBS stations in December, 2002 (check local listings); it airs in New Orleans on December 2nd (on WYES 12).
Happy Anniversary: congratulations to Basin Street Records, who will be celebrating their 5th anniversary at a November 29 bash at Tipitina's; scheduled performers include Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen and Henry Butler, plus Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers, Dr. Michael White, Edwin Livingston, Victor Atkins, Ricky Sebastian, Jason Marsalis, and many more; Basin Street was formed in 1997, and issued their first release -- "Kermit Ruffins: The Barbecue Swingers Live" (recorded live at live at Tip's on 11/14/97) -- in 1998.
Pause For A Cause: the 3rd annual "Siren To Wail" benefit concert is scheduled for November 22nd at Generations Hall; scheduled performers include Dr. John, Bobby Rush, Gatemouth Brown, Linda Hopkins, Irma Thomas, Eddie Bo, Cyril Neville, The Wild Magnolias, Chubby Carrier, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, the Pinettes Brass Band, and Timothea; the event will also air live on radio and web, via WWOZ FM.
BMI Awards: Louisiana native Troy Verges picked up Songwriter of the Year honors at the BMI 50th Annual Country Awards, held Tuesday (11/05) in Nashville; Verges received awards for the songs "Blessed" (a #1 for Martina McBride), "I Would’ve Loved You Anyway" (Trisha Yearwood), "Who I Am" (a #1 for Jessica Andrews), and "With Me" (Lonestar), which led him to the top songwriter honor (shared with Tom Shapiro); Verges was also named NSAI Songwriter of the Year at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremonies held on Sunday (11/03).
CMA Awards: country music's finest are primed for tonight's CMA Awards (11/06), airing live on CBS; LA homies Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn are nominated, Trace Adkins is among the presenters, and Brooks & Dunn will also perform; folks in the Baton Rouge area should stay tuned after the awards to catch the Benjy Davis Project - who will be featured in a WAFB news segment.
Crescent City Connection: singer & songwriter Paul Simon has just released "The Paul Simon Collection", a compilation of his many hit tunes; the package features a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, including his duet with Aaron Neville on "Bridge Over Troubled Water", recorded at the 2001 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Tune In! here's two live radio performances that you should tune in to today (Nov. 5th); both will also be available via the web: singer/songwriter and rising star Marc Broussard will perform live on 88.7 KRVS Radio Acadie this afternoon at 1:00 pm; WWOZ 90.7 will broadcast pianist Angelo Canelli live from Snug Harbor at 11:00 pm tonight; Canelli will be backed by Derek Douget on sax, Jason Stewart on bass, and Jason Marsalis on drums.
Baby Talk: Cash Money Records co-CEO and rapper Brian "Baby" Williams (w/ Big Tymers) will release his first solo album, "Birdman", on November 26th; the album features guest appearances from P. Diddy, Toni Braxton, Cam'ron, Petey Pablo, Eightball, Foxy Brown, and Cash Money label-mates Lil Wayne and TQ; you can catch the premiere of the first video from the album ("Do That" featuring P. Diddy) on BET's "Access Granted" on Wednesday, 10/30; "Baby" also visits BET's "106 & Park" on Thursday, 10/31.
McGraw To Make Opry Debut: country music superstar Tim McGraw will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday, November 30th; you can catch portions of his performance on "Grand Ole Opry Live" (on CMT cable channel), and via the 'net at WSMonline.com.
Blues Challenge: the RiverBabys won the 2002 Louisiana Blues Challenge, held Wednesday night (10/16) at Grant Street Dancehall in Lafayette; the Lafayette-based band will represent Louisiana at the 19th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN in 2003.
Mayor Backs Music: the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, House of Blues and OffBeat are sponsoring a 13-week concert series designed to help local musicians make money and boost their careers; the "Mo' Tunes" series of concerts kicks off on December 3rd, and will be held every Tuesday night; two bands/artists will perform at each show, and they will get to split the entire gate (minus taxes); for additional info, call 565-8100.
Support Local Radio: WWOZ FM's fall fund drive is underway; call in and make a pledge today (you can also donate via the 'OZ web site)!
#4 for Britney: Britney Spears makes her 4th appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone (Issue RS908, October 31, 2002), although she shares the limelight this time with Shakira and Mary J. Blige.
S' Wonderful: Louis Armstrong gets a musical salute from Tony Bennett and k.d. lang on the forthcoming duets album, "A Wonderful World"; the album of tunes inspired by Armstrong is set for release on November 5th; crooner Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) covered Satchmo's "What a Wonderful World" at the "Women Rock! Girls & Guitars Concert" held in Los Angeles on October 10th; highlights from the benefit concert will air on October 25th on the Lifetime channel.
Hayride Legend Dies: longtime Louisiana Hayride producer & emcee Horace Logan passed away in Victoria, Texas on Sunday (Oct. 13) at age 86; many future legends got their start on the Hayride (which aired nationally from radio station KWKH-AM in Shreveport) during Logan's tenure (1948-57), including Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells and Jim Reeves; Hogan is credited with coining the catch phrase, "Elvis has left the building", uttered while trying to quiet a frenzied Hayride crowd after a Presley performance in '56; for more info, see Logan's 1998 book, "Elvis, Hank, and Me: Making Musical History on the Louisiana Hayride".
Branford From The Hip: Branford Marsalis talks about his new label, basketball, Bruce Springsteen, New Orleans funk, and more in a (typically) candid interview with VH1.com.
TV Specials: "Tim McGraw: Sing Me Home" - an NBC special taped in his hometown of Start, LA - will air on November 27, 2002; Britney Spears is among the stars lined up for "Elvis Lives", an NBC tribute to Elvis Presley, slated to air in late November or December; others taking part include Bono, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, and Dave Matthews.
Jazz Passing: veteran jazz pianist Stanley Mendelson passed away in New Orleans on October 4th at age 79; the New Orleans native played with Louis Armstrong, the Dukes of Dixieland, Sharkey Bonano, Jack Delaney, Johnny Wiggs, Raymond Burke, and many others; services are set for Wednesday (October 8) at All Faiths Funeral Home Chapel on Canal Street.
LA Blues in Kansas: a bevy of Louisiana blues legends are set to perform at the 5th annual "Blues Masters at the Crossroads", taking place at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, KS on October 18th and 19th; blues greats scheduled to perform include Lazy Lester, Henry Gray, Lil' Bob, Harry "Big Daddy" Hypolite, Warren Storm, Guitar Gable, Carol Fran, Lil' Buck Sinegal, Clarence "Jockey" Etienne, Major Handy, John Hart, Clinton "Fats" Perrodin and King Karl; tickets are a mere $35 per night; Blue Heaven Studios is owned by Lafayette, LA native Chad Kassem.
Noted Fiddler Dies: services were held in Shreveport on Sunday for 3-time state fiddling champion Marcel "Tex" Grimsley, who passed away on October 2nd at age 85; Grimsley, who made his own fiddles, appeared on the Louisiana Hayride's debut on April 3, 1948; he also co-wrote (with brother Cliff) "I'm Walking The Dog", a #3 hit for Webb Pierce in 1953; Grimsley is a member of the Hall of Master Folk Artists at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
Aaron Honored: the Catholic University of America's alumni association will honor singer Aaron Neville with its highest honor, the James Cardinal Gibbons Medal, during an Oct. 19 ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington; Neville is receiving the award for his "devotion to music that touches the soul and serves as an inspiration to many" said Father David O'Connell, Catholic University's president.
Where Y'at Romeo? young rapper Lil' Romeo will star in MGM Pictures' "Lil' Romeo and Lil' Juliet", a modern take on Shakespeare's classic tale of love; the movie will be directed by Mark Canton and Lil' Romeo's pop, Master P; Romeo is currently in Toronto, shooting the film "Honey", with Jessica Alba; Master P is currently shooting "Hollywood Homicide", a comedy/crime flick starring Harrison Ford.
Tabby Thomas Injured: Louisiana blues legend and club owner Rockin' Tabby Thomas received broken ribs and other injuries in a traffic accident in Baton Rouge on Monday, Sept. 30; 73-year-old Thomas was briefly trapped in his car after being hit by another vehicle on Government Street; he is being treated at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.
What's Cooking: the Food Channel's series of specials "Emeril Salutes America" is airing this week, with segments on New Orleans (featuring music by Dirty Dozen Brass Band) and New York City (w/ music by Jeremy Davenport); see the TV Page for additional info.
Props for Ivan: Ivan Neville will be among the honorees at the 2002 Musicians' Assistance Program Awards, taking place at the House of Blues in Hollywood on November 7; scheduled performers at the event include the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Scott Weiland, Jimmie Vaughan and Daniel Lanois.
Tunes 4 Tots: Harry Connick, Jr. will perform selections from his Grammy-winning "Songs I Heard" album at a number of children's concerts slated for November and December; Harry will be backed by a small ensemble, including trumpeter Leroy Jones; tour details have not been officially announced, but a tentative list of dates has been posted at Leroy's web site.
Marsalis Music: the second release from the new "Marsalis Music" record label is slated to be an album featuring the Marsalis family; the label's debut release was Branford's "Footsteps of Our Fathers"; a CD by Harry Connick, Jr. is also planned.
The Family That Plays Together... the musical Marsalis clan will perform together on a brief tour in 2003; "Ellis Marsalis & Sons" (Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, with Reginal Veal on bass) will make stops in Canada and the northeast U.S. in late February and early March of '03; Ellis and sons have never toured together, however they did perform together - at the "Satchmo to Marsalis" tribute concert - held during Louis Armstrong Centennial celebrations in New Orleans in August, 2001.
Jazz TV: Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra come to television in a 13-part series premiering on "BET Jazz" on September 26th; the show will air weekly on the BET JAZZ channel, and will also air (one episode per month) on the main BET channel (beginning October 20th); upcoming epsiodes include a look at Wynton's "Big Train" composition (Ep. #7); and a show dedicated to New Orleans and the roots of jazz (Ep. #10); stay tuned to our TV page for full details.
Good Fellows: Hackberry Ramblers founders Luderin Darbone and Edwin Duhon were in Washington, DC yesterday (09/18) to receive Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the pair, who have been together for almost 70 years, will also perform at a concert in honor of the Heritage Fellowship recipients in DC on Friday, Sept. 20.
Juvenile Crime: local rapper Juvenile (Terius Gray) is in hot water again; the platinum selling rap star turned himself into local authorities on Tuesday and was charged with simple battery and simple burglary related to an incident in May; Juvenile allegedly assaulted his barber, who he thought was selling bootlegged copies of an upcoming CD; the barber was also robbed by two of the rapper's accomplices; Juvenile was also booked on a charge of issuing worthless checks in an unrelated incident.
KWS Joins Farm Aid Line-up: Shreveport blues man Kenny Wayne Shepherd has joined the line-up of performers for "Farm Aid 2002", taking place Saturday (09/21) in Burgettstown, PA; much of the annual benefit concert, which also features Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Kid Rock, Gillian Welch and the Drive-By Truckers, will be carried live on the CMT cable TV channel.
Music Biz: Scott Aiges, Director of Music Business Development for New Orleans, will host a Town Hall meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, to discuss the city's plans to develop local music and to gather feedback from the local music community; the event takes place at Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘n Bowl (downstairs) at 7:00 pm.
Bench Press: show your support for the return of public benches (and brass band music) to the Pedestrian Mall on Jackson Square by attending a protest rally on Sunday, September 8th, from 1-3 pm at Jackson Square in front of the Cathedral; for additional info on the event and it's sponsors, call 587-0080.
Blues Fest: the 17th annual King Biscuit Blues Festival will take place in Helena, AR on October 10th - 13th; the line-up features many Louisiana blues greats including Luther Kent & Raful Neal (performing together), Sonny Landreth, Burton Garr, Andy J. Forest, Deacon John, Irma Thomas, Mem Shannon, and Spencer Bohran.
A&E's "Street Stories": the A&E 'Biography' series offshoot "Street Stories" will feature Bourbon Street in a show scheduled to air on September 18th; the episode includes interviews with Kermit Ruffins, Dr. Michael White, George Porter Jr., Bruce Raeburn, John Sinclair, Tracey Freeman, and many others; see the TV page for more info.
Get In To Lil' Romeo's Pants: Mervyn's department store and rap star Lil' Romeo (Percy Romeo Miller) are teaming up to introduce a new line of urban clothing, "P. Miller Shorties", which will be available in all Mervyn's stores on August 25th; the "P. Miller Shorties" line will feature t-shirts and jeans for boys; in November 2002, Mervyn's will add the P. Miller line for young men, designed by Romeo's dad, rap entrepreneur Master P.
Gospel Musician Dies: Gospel vocalist and musician Michael Robinson passed away on Saturday, Aug. 17 at age 30; the former NOCCA student was musical director at Greater St. Stephen Ministries, and he worked with Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Ruby Terry, and many others; a musical tribute for Robinsom will be held Friday at 7 pm at Greater St. Stephen Ministries (5600 Read Blvd.), and the funeral will take plave on Saturday at Greater St. Stephen.
Le Cajun Awards: the 2002 "Le Cajun" Music Awards were handed out on August 16th in Lafayette; winners included Rufus Thibodeaux (Fiddler of the Year); Kevin Naquin (Accordionist of the Year); Eva Touchet (Female Vocalist); Ed Gary (Male Vocalist); Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys (Band of the Year); Jay Cormier (Best First Recording, for "Deux Vies Pour Te Donner"); Kevin Naquin (Album of the Year, for "Au Coup D'eclair"); and "Belle Louisiane" (Zachary Richard, songwriter & Brittany Polaski, vocals) was named Song of the Year.
HoB Gospel: can't afford Gospel Brunch at the HoB? No problem; go get a bucket of Popeye's and tune into the HoB web site for great Gospel performances by the Zion Harmonizers, Al Green, Blind Boys of Alabama, and more... praise the Lord and pass the Tabasco!
Concert News: rock band No Doubt have signed on to perform at the 2002 Voodoo Music Festival (November 2, 2002); a detailed line-up of Voodoo Fest artists will be released on September 6th, and tickets go on sale the same day .... rising R&B star Tweet, along with rap group Jurassic 5, will perform at The Varsity in Baton Rouge on September 2 as part of MTV2's "$2 Bill" concert series; the concert will also air on MTV2... more concert news.
Musical Milestones: Brooks & Dunn's 1993 album "Hard Workin' Man" was certified 5 x Platinum (5 million copies sold) on July 23rd; Britney Spears picked up 2 awards at the 2002 Teen Choice Awards held on August 4th (show airs on FOX on August 19th); rapper Lil' Romeo's hit, "My Baby", was named the top rap single in sales at the 2002 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, which were handed out on August 9th.
Blues Hall Inductees Announced: the 2002 inductees into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame include Herman E. Johnson, Robert Milburn, "Schoolboy" Cleve White, Butch Cage, Willie B. Thomas and Larry Garner; OffBeat magazine publisher Jan Ramsey will be honored with the Quint Davis Award; ceremonies take place on September 17 at the Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge; scheduled performers include Raful Neal, Larry Garner, James Johnson, Rudy Richard, Big Luther Kent, John Fred, Walter Jr., Warren Storm, J. Monque D and Deacon John.
Undisputed Opens: the film "Undisputed", starring Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames and Master P, opens nationwide on August 23rd; the soundtrack, on Cash Money Records, will be released on August 20th, and it includes tracks by Cash Money Millionaires, Big Tymers, Lil Wayne, Teena Marie, and many others.
Leroy Celebrates "Roots": trumpeter and road warrior Leroy Jones will celebrate the release of his new album, "Back To My Roots", with a CD Release Party set for Saturday, September 21 at Donna's Bar & Grill; Leroy, who has been on the road constantly of late, also has a few other gigs lined up in New Orleans in the coming weeks; visit Leroy's web site for the details.
Juke Documentary: the Black Starz! cable channel will air the original documentary "The Last of the Mississippi Jukes", a poignant look at the disappearing institution of juke joints in the rural south, in February, 2003; the feature-length documentary includes performances by the House Rockers, the King Edwards Blues Band, Alvin "Youngblood" Hart, Chris Thomas King, Bobby Rush, and many others.
Noche Latina Returns: fans of Fredy Omar and his "Noche Latina" shows will be happy to hear that the weekly event will return beginning Friday, August 16th (and every Friday thereafter); "Noche Latina", formerly held at The Red Room, will now take place at Blue Nile (534 Frenchmen Street); things kick off each week with Latin dance lessons from 9 to 10 pm, followed by Fredy Omar con su Banda performing from 10:30 pm to 2 am... get your dancin' shoes ready!
Big Chief & Biggie Smalls: sax man Donald Harrison is interviewed in an upcoming episode of the popular VH1 series, "Driven", on his relationship with slain rap star Notorious B.I.G. (Harrison, while living in NYC, was a neighbor and mentor to the future rap music legend); the show premieres on Tuesday, August 20th.
New Music: Grammy and ACM Award winner Chris Thomas King will release his 9th studio album, "Dirty South Hip-Hop Blues" on his own 21st Century Blues Records on October 8; King produced the new album, and he is the only musician featured on the recording; the album features several songs that fuse blues and hip-hop, and King is on the lookout for other artists rooted in blues and hip-hop for his new label; for more info, visit christhomasking.com.
Will & Grace & Harry: Harry Connick Jr. will guest-star in a multi-episode arc as a doctor, and Grace’s new love interest, in the NBC comedy series "Will & Grace" this fall; Connick will make his debut as the mysterious horseman who comes to the rescue of a fallen Grace in last season’s finale; the season premiere of "Will & Grace" will air on September 26.
Raising Kane: jailed rap stars (and authors) Kane & Abel will release their latest album, "The Last Ones Left", on October 15; a novel with the same name will also be released; the identical twins are currently in separate federal prisons in Texas, serving time on drug related charges; they are scheduled for release from prison in November of this year and January of 2003, respectively.
Musical Passing: Gospel vocalist Howard Bowie passed away on July 22nd at age 63; the New Orleans native had performed with the Zion Harmonizers for 43 years; services for Bowie will be held on July 30th and 31st.
New Music: the new CD from Leroy Jones - "Back To My Roots" - is his first "solo" album since 1996's "Props For Pops"; the set includes a mix of classics and original compositions, and features Leroy Jones Quintet regulars Craig Klein, Gerald French, Paul Longstreth and Mitchell Player; making guest appearances are Alonzo Bowens, Jeffrey Hills and Ozaki Nobumasa, plus a "bevy" of Big Easy beat keepers including Benny Jones, "Uncle" Lionel Batiste, Smiley Ricks, Cayetano "Tanio" Hingle and Kerry Hunter.
NOLA Rappers Honored: local rap stars Juvenile, Big Tymers and Lil' Wayne will be among the honorees at the first-ever BMI Urban Awards, scheduled for August 6 at Club Tropigala in Miami Beach.
Isn't That Special: country superstar Tim McGraw will return to his hometown this fall to tape his first television special (for NBC; air date TBA); McGraw will perform before 15,000 fans at a converted cotton gin in his hometown of Start, Louisiana; the concert will include a blend of new tunes (McGraw's next CD is set for release on November 26) and old favorites.
Jazz Fest TV: popular arts cable channel TRIO will air 10 hours of coverage of the 2002 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, in two 5 hour shows airing on August 17th and 18th; artists featured include Allen Toussaint, Anders Osborne, Counting Crows, BeauSoleil, C.J. Chenier, Ellis Marsalis, funky Meters, Germaine Bazzle, The Iguanas, Heath Brothers, India Arie, Marlon Jordan, Melissa Etheridge, New Orleans Night Crawlers, Michael Ward, Robert Mirabal, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., Sunpie Barnes, Taj Mahal, and String Cheese Incident.
Lomax Passing: noted musicologist Alan Lomax passed away on Friday, July 19th in Sarasota, FL at age 87; Lomax recorded folk legend Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) in Angola in 1933, and was integral in his subsequent parole from prison; he also recorded hours of interviews with Jelly Roll Morton for the Library of Congress in 1938, and wrote the acclaimed 1950 bio of Morton, "Mister Jelly Roll"; for more, see alan-lomax.com.
Rap Sheet: jailed rapper C-Murder (Corey Miller) suffered a setback in his upcoming second degree murder trial on Friday, when a Gretna judge ruled that prosecutors can introduce witnesses and evidence of previous alleged criminal behavior.
Rap Sheet II: New Orleans-born rap star Mystikal (Michael Tyler) was arrested in Baton Rouge on Thursday (July 18th), charged with aggravated rape and extortion; the incident allegedly took place at Mystikal's Baton Rouge residence on July 3rd, and a video tape of the supposed event was confiscated by the Baton Rouge authorities; if convicted of the rape charge, the rapper could face a mandatory life sentence.
Williams (x2) on Brown Tribute: Louisiana natives Lucinda Williams and Victoria Williams (no relation) both contribute tracks to the upcoming "Going Driftless: An Artists Tribute to Greg Brown" album; the CD is set for release on September 10, 2002.
Louisiana Blues: online music retailer CDNOW's recent feature on The 10 Essential Acoustic Blues Albums includes LP's from Lonnie Johnson, Leadbelly and Roosevelt Sykes; their 10 Essential Country Blues picks includes albums from Lonnie Johnson and Robert Pete Williams.
Stanton Moore Webcast: the HoB.com web site will feature a performance by Stanton Moore on Wednesday, July 24th; the concert, taped earlier this year in Hollywood, will be available online for 24 hours, beginning at 2:00 pm (Central).
Second Line for Dejan: a Second Line parade in memory of Harold Dejan will roll on Thursday afternoon (July 11th), beginning at 5:30 pm, at WWOZ radio station in Armstrong Park; the parade finishes up at the Candlelight Bar, with stops including Little People's Place and Joe's Cozy Corner; participants include the Treme Brass Band, and members of Storyville Stompers, New Birth, Lil Rascals and Olympia brass bands; funeral services for Dejan take place on Friday and Saturday.
Trad Jazz Legend Duke Dejan Passes: sax player & Olympia Brass Band founder Harold "Duke" Dejan passed away on July 5th, at age 93, after a lengthy illness; Dejan played with his brother Leo in the Moonlight Serenaders circa 1918; he later led his own "Dixie Rhythm Band", who performed on the steamboats S.S. Washita and S.S. Dixie between New Orleans and New York (see photo) in the 30's; Dejan resurrected the Olympia Brass Band in the late 1950's, and led the band to international acclaim before retiring from performing due to failing health; services for Dejan are scheduled for July 12th and 13th at Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home (1615 St. Philip Street).
Hall of Fame 2003: Cajun music group BeauSoleil are among the musical artists newly eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Fame, according to an article from Allstar News; music artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record; click here for a list of prior R&R Hall of Fame inductees from Louisiana.
New Daughter for Harry: congrats to crooner Harry Connick, Jr. and his missus Jill Goodacre, who gave birth to the couple's third daughter (Charlotte) on June 26th.
New Music: CD's hitting stores this week include Larry Garner's "Embarrassment To The Blues", and "Vida Blue" - a collaboration featuring Page McConnell (of Phish), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit), and local drummer Russell Batiste (Funky Meters); check the music store for more on upcoming CD's.
Stamp for the Dixie Cups: N.O. City Council members were serenaded by the Dixie Cups in their June 20 session; the event was to celebrate the Dixie Cups' selection for an international commemorative stamp by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation of NYC; the trio were previously honored on a stamp issued in Nevis (Leeward Islands) on 08/10/2000; the group joins a growing list of New Orleans musical legends (Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson) who have been featured on postal stamps.
Brit Tops Forbes Celeb List: pop star Britney Spears was named the world's most powerful celebrity in Forbes magazine's annual Celebrity 100 list; the rankings are based on a combination of earnings and media exposure; rounding out the top 5 celebrities were Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Madonna and U2.
Musical Passing: our condolences to family and friends of musician and singer Jeff Naidau, who passed away in New Orleans on June 17th after suffering a heart attack; funeral arrangements can be found at Jeff's web site.
Honk Tonk Angels: country music legend Kitty Wells will be honored at a benefit concert in Nashville on June 23rd, which is the 50th anniversary of her 1952 hit single "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels"; it's nice to see Kitty get her props, but the concert literature has no mention of the song's writer, legendary Louisiana record producer, Jay (J.D.) Miller (1922-1996).
LA Music on TV: Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, Lonnie Brooks, Hank Williams Jr. and Wynton Marsalis are among the artists scheduled to perform on the July 4th ABC TV special, "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration"; the 3 hour prime-time special will also feature performances by Alicia Keys and India.Arie from the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.
Hackberry Ramblers Honored: congratulations to Hackberry Ramblers founders fiddler Luderin Darbone and accordionist Edwin Duhon, who will be honored with National Heritage Fellowships -- the USA's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts -- in ceremonies to be held in Washington D.C. in September 2002; see the National Endowment for the Arts web site for more info.
Jazz Passing: traditional jazz pianist Walter Lewis passed away at his home in New Orleans on Monday (06/10) at age 87; Lewis worked with Sidney Desvigne, Paul Barbarin and Papa Celestin, and in later years Placide Adams, Danny Barker, and others; Lewis also sang from time to time (e.g. "I'm Lost" from Kermit Ruffins' Hold On Tight album); services are set for Friday June 14, at D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home.
Flameworthy Winners: congratulations to Louisiana-connected winners at last night's "CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards" held in Nashville; Brooks & Dunn (who also performed at the event) won for "Group/Duo Video", Tim McGraw got the award for "Hottest Video", and Chris Cagle was named for "Breakthrough Video"; the show will be repeated this Saturday and Sunday on CMT.
Concert News: get ready to rock! Aerosmith are scheduled to play at New Orleans Arena on October 24th; joining Steve Tyler & Co. on the bill are Kid Rock and Run-DMC; also - tickets for (Lil) Bow Wow’s Scream 2 Tour (New Orleans Arena; July 28) go on sale on Saturday morning, June 15th, at 10:00 am.
Country Stars Go To Bat For Charity: Louisiana natives Chris Cagle, Andy Griggs and Tony Stampley are among the country music stars participating in the 12th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge, being held in Nashville on Thursday, June 13th; an auction of celebrity memorabilia coincides with the event, which benefits the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute.
Band To Watch: the word on Baton Rouge rock band Benjy Davis Project is spreading rapidly -- which is quite amazing considering they just played their 4th live gig on June 6th (to a packed house at The Varsity in Baton Rouge); the band, together since 2001, is led by 18-year old singer, guitarist and songwriter Benjy Davis; they have just released their debut CD "More Than Local", which features guest appearances by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Paul Sanchez and Susan Cowsill, among others; additional support was provided by their production and management team -- music industry vet's Trey Merrill & Jim Bateman, plus noted songwriter Pat Robinson; visit the band's web site for more info.
Save The Music: VH1 Save The Music and CBS are teaming up for "VH1 Save The Music Week" (June 10-16) featuring special broadcasts on CBS's "The Early Show" each day ("The Early Show" airs locally on WHNO 20, from 7-9 am) and a nation-wide musical instrument drive to benefit music programs in public schools across the country; highlights of the week include Early Show appearances by Alicia Keys, Darius Rucker, Boyz II Men, Garth Brooks and Sheryl Crow, plus performances from schools that have benefited from the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and a >music memorabilia auction; you can participate locally by donating new or used musical instruments; here's a list of area music dealers accepting donations; here's several ways that you can help support music education in your local community.
Stones Rolling Again: Mandeville, LA hard rock band 12 Stones will hit the road as the opening act for Creed's "Weathered" tour; the tour kicks off in Virginia Beach, VA on July 11 and winds up in Toronto on Sept. 1; the tour was originally scheduled to start on April 29th, but was delayed when Creed singer Scott Stapp was injured in an auto accident.
Props for Jordan: congrats to all of our friends at Gambit Weekly for picking up four first-place awards at the Alternative Newsweekly Awards announced on Friday, May 31st; Scott Jordan was named for Music Criticism; Michael Tisserand, Katy Reckdahl and Clancy DuBos were also cited for their work at Gambit.
Music Market: the French Market's Friday evening concert series hosts it's annual "Battle of the Bands" on Friday, May 31 (at the St. Phillip Street Performance Tent, from 6-8 pm) featuring The Real Untouchables, The Lil Stooges and the Hot 8 Brass Band; on Saturday, the Storyville Stompers perform in the French Market Complex from 1-3 pm, and the "French Market Tomato Festival" takes place on Sunday, with music from Irma Thomas, Big Al Carson and others.
W.C. Handy's: congrats to Louisiana musicians who came away winners at the 23rd Annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards held in Memphis on May 23rd; winners with LA ties included: Buddy Guy for "Contemporary Album of the Year" (for "Sweet Tea"), "Contemporary Male Artist of the Year" and "Instrumentalist of the Year - Guitar"; Marcia Ball for "Blues Album of the Year" (for "Presumed Innocent); and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown for "Instrumentalist of the Year - Other" (fiddle); performers at the event included Dr. John and Marcia Ball.
ACM Winners: Brooks & Dunn came home with 3 wins at the 37th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, held in Los Angeles on May 22nd; the duo tied with Alan Jackson for the most awards, and became the top ACM winners of all time (with a total of 16 wins), surpassing country legends Merle Haggard and Garth Brooks; the "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack was named "Album of the Year", adding to the collection picked up by Chris Thomas King and The Cox Family at this year's Grammy Awards; performers at the event included Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw and Hank Williams, Jr. (with Kid Rock); the show will be repeated on CMT on June 2nd.
T.B. on TV: trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard made an unannounced appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on May 22nd; Blanchard sat in and jammed with the CBS Orchestra throughout the show.
B.G.'s New Label: former Cash Money records rapper B.G. (aka Baby Gangsta; real name Christopher Dorsey) has started his own label, "Chopper City Records"; the first Chopper City release is expected to be B.G.'s "A Living Legend", due in late summer; B.G. is the second Cash Money Records star to bolt from the popular label; Juvenile left in 2001 and formed his UTP (Uptown Project) label; UTP artists include Juvenile and Skip; a compilation album, "Juvenile Presents UTP Playas", dropped earlier this year.
He's A Little Bit Country: Harry Connick, Jr. and Lee Ann Womack may hook up for a tune that would appear on Lee Ann's upcoming Christmas album; meanwhile... back at the ranch ... Harry is scheduled to perform at the Grand Ole Opry on June 6th.
Flameworthy: the first annual "CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards" will be held at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville on June 12th; nominees with ties to Louisiana include Chris Cagle, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins and Hank Williams, Jr.; the event airs live on the CMT cable channel.
Are You Ready for some football? Dennis Miller may be gone, but Hank is back! Hank Williams, Jr. has signed on with ABC Sports for his 14th year providing ABC's Monday Night Football theme song; you can also catch Hank performing on NBC's Conan O'Brien show on Friday night (May 10).
Baton Rouge Venue Closes: M's Fine and Mellow Cafe - a popular Baton Rouge night spot for acoustic folk and jazz music - shut down on Saturday, May 4th, citing the economy and shrinking crowds; the venue opened in February 1994, and has hosted performances by Ellis Marsalis, Astral Project, Roland Guerin, and several other New Orleans music artists.
Chart Action: Cash Money Records' Big Tymers latest release, "Hood Rich", makes its debut in the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart (for the week of May 18th); the "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack continues its 71 week chart run at #10; the latest from No Limit Records, C-Murder's "Tru Dawgs" enters the chart at #67 (C-Murder, the brother of Master P, has been in jail in Jefferson Parish on murder charges since January 19); the Big Tymers better enjoy their brief moment in the top spot; "Hood Rich" only sold 160,000 copies in an apparent slow week of sales.
How Precious: April RIAA certifications included Tim McGraw's "Greatest Hits" (triple Platinum), Master P's 1996 album "Ice Cream Man" (went Platinum; the rapper's 4th million seller), Mystikal's Tarantula (Gold), and the Britney Spears' video, "Live From Las Vegas" (double-Platinum).
Buddy Rolls w/ The Stones: blues man Buddy Guy will open for the Rolling Stones on selected dates of their upcoming tour; the aging rockers announced 2002-2003 tour plans at an elaborate press conference in New York on May 7th.
Harry Gets Tony Nom: Harry Connick, Jr. is among the nominees for the 2002 Tony Awards; Harry was named in the "Original Score" category for the musical, "Thou Shalt Not" (he composed both music and lyrics); as in past years, The Tony Awards will be televised live on June 2nd by PBS (the first ten awards) and CBS.
Hank Jr. on ACM's: Hank Williams, Jr. and Brooks & Dunn are among the artists scheduled to perform at the 37th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, taking place on May 22nd (airing on CBS); Hank will be joined by Kid Rock, performing their duet "The F Word"; Springhill, LA native Trace Adkins is scheduled to present an award at the events.
Amusement Tax Repealed: the 68 year old New Orleans Amusement Tax, which levied taxes on local clubs and other establishments that featured live music, was repealed by the New Orleans City Council on May 2nd; the victory for local music was a culmination of a 10 year effort by the Louisiana Music Commission, attorney Justin Zitler, and others; the repeal goes into effect on January 1, 2003; in a further step, Louisiana State Representative Mitch Landrieu has introduced a bill in Baton Rouge to kill the enabling legislation that allowed the tax to exist. Congrats to all for their efforts!
Bolden Honored: in the same May 2 session, the NOLA City Council passed an ordinance renaming the 4900 block of Toulouse Street as Buddy Bolden Place, in honor of the legendary New Orleans trumpeter (1887-1931); the bill's sponsor was outgoing Councilman Scott Shea.
Late Night with the Dirty Dozen: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will be the musical guests on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on Tuesday, May 7th; the 'Dozen will be joined by Dr. John for their performance.