- On This Day in Louisiana Music History

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

1901 Trad jazz trumpeter Jimmy "Kid" Clayton was born on Magnolia Street in New Orleans in 1901
1930 Jazz trombonist Benny Powell (1930-2010) was born in New Orleans in 1930; Powell was noted for his work with Count Basie and other jazz greats
1932 Swamp blues guitarist and vocalist Leroy Washington was born in Palmetto, LA in 1932; Washington recorded for J.D. Miller's Excello and Zynn labels in the early 1960's; he passed away in 1966, shortly after a club performance in Oakdale, Louisiana
1949 Louis Armstrong reigned as King Zulu (photo) on Mardi Gras Day in 1949; accompanying Louis on the King's float were All Stars Velma Middleton and Big Sid Catlett; that evening, Louis and His All Stars performed at Booker T. Washington Auditorium
1962 Cajun musician John Trahan was born in Abbeville, Louisiana in 1962 (more).
1995 The 1994 Grammy awards were held on this day in 1995; winners included Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood (for their remake of Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces") and Alison Krauss with The Cox Family (for their album "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow")

1897 Late trad jazz drummer Minor "Ram" Hall was born in Sellers, LA in 1897; Hall was the younger brother of drummer Alfred "Tubby" Hall; he was a long time member of Kid Ory's band (1945-56) until ill health forced him to retire; he also recorded with Louis Armstrong, and appeared with Satchmo and Ory in the 1946 film "New Orleans"
1909 Trad jazz banjo player and vocalist Narvin Kimball (1909-2006) was born in New Orleans; Kimball first recorded in the 1924 with Fate Marable, and he was an original member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (formed in 1966); Kimball, a longtime U.S. Postal Service employee, released the appropriately titled "Ninety and Still Delivering" in 1999
1924 Late blues harp player and vocalist Alexander "Papa George" Lightfoot was born in Natchez, MS in 1924; Papa George moved to New Orleans in the 40's and occasionally sat in with Fats Domino, Tommy Ridgley and Shirley & Lee; he recorded with Edgar Blanchard and the Gondoliers, Champion Jack Dupree, and on his own for the Aladdin, Imperial, Savoy, and Excello labels
1970 Noted trad jazz clarinetist Emile Barnes passed away in New Orleans in 1970 at age 78.
1988 The 1987 Grammy Awards were held on this day in 1988; winners included Wynton Marsalis (for his album "Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. 1") and Professor Longhair (for "Houseparty New Orleans Style")
1999 Kane & Abel's album "Am I My Brother's Keeper" was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1999
2002 Blues drummer, vocalist, and label owner (Almeda Records; Ivory Records) Ivory Lee Semien (aka "King Ivory") passed away in 2002 at age 70. The Washington, LA native worked with noted Texas steel guitarist Hop Wilson. They first recorded together for Goldband Records ("Chicken Stuff") in the late 1950s.
2011 Pianist and music educator Van Cliburn received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama on March 2, 2011.

1906 Late bandleader and clarinet legend Barney Bigard was born (Albany Leon Bigard) in New Orleans in 1906; Bigard played with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong in the 20's before becoming a fixture in Duke Ellington's Orchestra (from 1927-42); in later years he worked with Kid Ory's band and Louis Armstrong & His All Stars
1913 Trad jazz drummer Chester Jones was born in New Orleans in 1913; Jones worked with George Lewis, Eureka Brass Band, Onward Brass Band, and many others; he was the grandfather of trombonist Corey Henry and the father of drummer Benny Jones Sr.
1925 Tenor sax legend and longtime Fats Domino sideman Herb Hardesty was born in New Orleans in 1925; Hardesty was a prolific session player and also a long time member of Fats Domino's band (check out Herb wailing on Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'"); read more on Herb.
1933 Noted Cajun fiddler and songwriter Hadley J. Castille was born in Leonville, LA in 1933
1979 Zydeco accordionist Dwayne Dopsie was born in Lafayette, LA in 1979
1999 The Neville Brothers performed "Mona Lisa" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1999
1999 Pop queen Britney Spears underwent arthroscopic surgery in New Orleans in 1999 to remove a piece of torn cartilage suffered when she twisted her knee while rehearsing for her video "Sometimes"; the injury forced Spears to cancel a number of promo appearances, including MTV's Spring Break, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
2009 Pop star Britney Spears kicked off her "The Circus Starring Britney Spears" world tour at the New Orleans Arena in 2009. Britney's "comeback tour" - with stops in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia - grossed more than $130 million. See story and photos.

1896 Trad jazz clarinetist Israel Gorman was born in New Orleans in 1896; Gorman worked with Louis Dumaine in the 30's and 40's; in his latter years, he recorded with Kid Howard and played regularly at Preservation Hall
1925 Louis Armstrong recorded "Cast Away" and "Papa-De-Da-Da" with the Clarence Williams Blue Five in New York in 1925
1950 "3 x 7 = 21" by Jewel King entered the R&B Chart in 1950; the tune, written by Dave Bartholomew, reached the #4 spot
1967 "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" by Larry Williams (with Johnny "Guitar" Watson) entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1967
1989 The Dixie Cups appeared on the PBS concert special "Let's Rock Tonight" in 1989. The show also featured Mitch Ryder, Gary 'US' Bonds, Ben E King, Mary Wells, Del Shannon, and others. (video)

1929 Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five recorded the classics "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Mahogany Hall Stomp" for the Okeh label in New York in 1929; the band included Lonnie Johnson (guitar), Pops Foster (bass), and Paul Barbarin (drums)
1967 Dirty Dozen sousaphone and bass player Julius McKee was born in New Orleans in 1967.
1968 Dixieland drummer and occasional brass player Arthur "Monk" Hazel passed away in New Orleans in 1968 at age 64; Hazel, a native of Harvey, LA, led the Bienville Roof Orchestra in the 1920's; in his later years, he worked with Sharkey Bonano, George Girard, Santa Pecora, and many others.

1948 "Shuffle Woogie" by Joe Lutcher's Jump Band entered the R&B Chart in 1948; Joe was the sax playing brother of vocalist Nellie Lutcher.
1961 "But I Do" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1961; the tune, written by Bobby Charles, peaked at #9 (it reached #4 on the Pop Chart) and remained in the chart for 11 weeks
1996 Noted reeds player Herb Hall passed away in San Antonio, TX in 1996 at age 88; a native of Reserve, Louisiana, Hall played with Don Albert, Doc Cheatham, and many others; he was the brother of clarinet great Edmond Hall.
2000 Legendary drummer and session man Earl Palmer (1924-2008) was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000
2006 Soul singer King Floyd (of "Groove Me" fame) passed away Los Angeles in 2006 at age 61.
2011 Noted New Orleans drummer Herman "Roscoe" Ernest passed away in 2011 at age 59. Ernest was the longtime beat keeper for Dr. John. His extensive recording credits include LaBelle's 1974 #1 hit "Lady Marmalade." Ernest was also featured in the instructional video "New Orleans Drumming" with Earl Palmer, Herlin Riley and Johnny Vidacovich.

1888 Late upright bass player Alcide Pavageau (aka "Slow Drag" Pavageau) was born in New Orleans in 1888; Pavageau spent several years with George Lewis; he and George were also with Bunk Johnson's band in New York in 1945; in his latter years, Pavageau was a fixture at Preservation Hall and served as Grand Marshal of many Second-Line parades
1891 Early jazz trombone player Alvin "Zue" Robertson was born in New Orleans in 1891; Robertson led his own group in Storyville before heading to Chicago; he worked with Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, W.C. Handy and others; he later took up piano, working in New York and on vaudeville tours before retiring circa 1930.
1914 Jazz drummer Lee Young was born (Leonidas Raymond Young) in New Orleans in 1914; Young, the brother of sax great Lester Young, was a prolific sideman, recording with Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Nat King Cole, and many others. In later years, he was also a producer, working with the Vee-Jay, Motown and ABC/Dunhill labels. Young passed away in Los Angeles in 2008 at age 94.
1968 Pianist, songwriter, video director, and record producer Isadar was born (Fabian Isadore Thibodeaux) in Church Point, Louisiana in 1968.
1990 Hank Williams, Jr.'s album "Greatest Hits Volume 2" received Platinum status (one million copies sold) from the RIAA in 1990

1900 Trad jazz pianist Joe Robichaux was born in New Orleans in 1900; Joe, the nephew of noted bandleader John Robichaux, worked with Papa Celestin, Lee Collins, Kid Rena, and others early in his career; Robichaux led the New Orleans Rhythm Boys in the 30's, worked as a solo pianist in the 40's, and played with George Lewis in the 50's and early 60's.
2000 Noted piano player and bandleader Leon Kelner passed away in 2000 at age 77; Kelner performed at the Roosevelt Hotel (now The Fairmont) from 1942 to 1971, working in the Fountain Lounge and later in the Blue Room; in later years he was based at the Broadwater Beach Hotel (listen to Kelner audio clips from the Blue Room)

1933 R&B legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Lloyd Price was born in Kenner, LA in 1933
1936 Country music great Mickey Gilley was born in Natchez, MS in 1936; Gilley grew up across the river in Ferriday, Louisiana, playing music with his cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart.
1987 Long time Preservation Hall manager, owner and musician Allan Jaffe passed away in New Orleans in 1987 at age 51

1929 Music producer, manager and publisher Huey P. Meaux was born in Wright, LA in 1929; Meaux, known as "The Crazy Cajun", was instrumental in the careers of Barbara Lynn, Sir Douglas Quintet, Freddie Fender and many others; Meaux also co-produced Rockin' Sidney's Grammy winning classic, "My Toot Toot"; read more
1938 Swamp pop historian and musician Johnnie Allan was born (John Allen Guillot) in Rayne, LA in 1938; read more.
1938 West Coast blues and R&B piano man Omar Shariff (aka Omar Hakim Khayam) was born (Dave Alexander Elam) in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1938
1967 Zydeco accordionist and bandleader Jeffery Broussard was born in Lafayette, LA. He is the son of late Zydeco great Delton Broussard (1927-1994)
1975 Late saxophone player Charles "Alto" Taylor (Lil' Rascals Brass Band) was born in New Orleans in 1975
1992 Sax man Branford Marsalis was named music director of The Tonight Show in 1992; he replaced Doc Severinsen when Jay Leno took over for Johnny Carson

1897 Late trad jazz drummer Joseph Rena was born in New Orleans in 1897; he worked regularly with his brother, trumpeter Henry "Kid" Rena
1897 Trad jazz trombonist Charlie Miller was born in New Orleans in 1915; Miller worked with Irving Fazola, Leon Prima, and the WWL's Dawn Busters orchestra
1898 Accordionist and Cajun music pioneer Amede Ardoin was born in 1898.
1943 Blues harp player Latelle Barton was born in Marksville, LA in 1943; he is the cousin of harmonica legend Little Walter
1970 The 1969 Grammy awards were held on this day in 1970; winners included Simmesport, LA native Joe Simon, for his single "The Chokin' Kind".
1970 Noted drummer Terence Higgins (Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Swampgrease, John Scofield, Warren Haynes Band) was born in New Orleans in 1970.
1997 Jazz and gospel vocalist Linda "Lady Linda" Lacen (born Linda Young) passed away in 1997 at the age of 40; Lady Linda was the wife of late tuba great Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, with whom she performed locally and internationally.

1949 Vocalist Robert Overstreet was born in De Quincy, LA in 1949; he was the son of Gospel great Rev. Louis Overstreet.
1955 "My Babe" by blues harp legend Little Walter entered the R&B Chart in 1955; the tune was written by blues great Willie Dixon and was based on the spiritual "This Train"; it went on to top the chart for 5 weeks
1969 The 1968 Grammy awards were held on this day in 1969; nominees Joe Simon and O.C. Smith (both Louisiana natives) lost to others, but Smith's "Little Green Apples" did win the "Song of the Year" Grammy for Nashville songwriter Bobby Russel.
1939 R&B guitarist and vocalist Rockie Charles (AKA the President of Soul) passed away in 2010 at age 70.

1909 Noted West Coast blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Saunders King was born in Staple, LA in 1909; King scored a hit in 1942 with "S.K. Blues", and charted in 1949 with "Empty Bedroom Blues" and "Stay Gone Blues"; he came out of retirement in 1979 to record with Carlos Santana (his son-in-law); King passed away on August 31, 2000
1913 Legendary swamp blues guitarist and vocalist Lightnin' Slim was born (Otis Hicks) on a farm outside of St. Louis, MO in 1913; his family moved to St. Francisville, LA when he was 13; he was later based in Baton Rouge
1948 "Fine Brown Frame" by Lake Charles, LA native Nellie Lutcher entered the R&B Chart in 1948; the tune reached the No. 2 spot and remained on the chart for 17 weeks
1957 Late pianist, conductor and arranger Moses Hogan was born in New Orleans in 1957
1962 Award winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard was born in New Orleans in 1962
1994 Musician, vocalist, composer, author and jazz historian Danny Barker passed away in New Orleans in 1994 at age 85

1914 Noted rural blues artist Robert Pete Williams was born in Zachary, LA in 1914
1931 Swamp pop singer Phil Phillips was born (John Phillip Baptiste) in Lake Charles, LA in 1931; Phillips' 1959 hit "Sea of Love" reached #1 on the R&B Chart and #2 on the Pop Chart
1944 Swamp pop singer Willie Tee Trahan was born in Lafayette, LA in 1944
2005 Blues legend and Louisiana native Buddy Guy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Watch Buddy's induction by B.B. King and Eric Clapton, his acceptance speech, and his performance of "Damn Right, I've Got the Blues" from the event.

1931 Influential rock drummer D.J. Fontana was born in Shreveport, LA in 1931; D.J. played in Elvis Presley's original backing band, The Blue Moons, along with Scotty Moore and Bill Black; he worked with Elvis from 1955 to 1969; Fontana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009
1940 Swamp pop vocalist Tommy McLain was born in Jonesville, LA in 1940; McLain had a No. 15 pop hit in 1966 with the million seller, "Sweet Dreams"
1945 Noted Cajun music accordionist Sheryl Cormier was born in Grand Coteau on March 15, 1945
1955 While on tour in 1955, Fats Domino records at Master Recorders studio in Hollywood. Songs recorded included "Ain't It A Shame" (Imperial 5348) and "All By Myself" (Imperial 5357) - both future #1 R&B hits for Fats. Backing up Fats on the sessions were Walter "Papoose" Nelson, Billy Diamond, Herb Hardesty, Robert "Buddy" Hagans, Samuel Lee and Cornelius Coleman.
1978 The film "American Hot Wax" premiered in New York City in 1978; the cast included Jerry Lee Lewis and Frankie Ford

1892 Late trombonist Isaiah "Big Ike" Robinson was born in Thibodeaux, LA in 1892; Robinson worked with trumpeters Kid Milton, Chris Kelly and Kid Rena
1902 Late reeds player Leon Roppolo was born in Lutcher, LA in 1902; Roppolo worked with the Brunis brothers, the Halfway House Orchestra, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, and many others; he co-wrote the trad jazz classics "Farewell Blues" and "Milenberg Joys"
1938 Trumpeter, composer and arranger Charlie Miller was born in New Orleans in 1938.
1943 New Orleans based blues guitar great Bryan Lee was born (Brian Leroy Kumbalek) in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1943. Lee passed away on August 21, 2020 at age 77.
1960 Baton Rouge bluesman Lil' Ray Neal (Raful Neal III) born in Erwinville, LA in 1960; he is the son of late Louisiana blues legend Raful Neal, and the brother of Kenny Neal.
1968 "The Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp" by O.C. Smith entered the R&B Chart in 1968; it was the first of 17 chart entries over a 20 year span for the late Mansfield, LA native
1999 Roosevelt Sykes and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ceremonies held at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in 1999; Gatemouth and Bobby Rush were among the performers at the event

1884 Late trad jazz clarinetist Alcide "Yellow" Nunez was born in New Orleans in 1884
1938 Guitarist and soul singer Eddy Giles was born (Elbert Wiggins Giles) in Frierson, LA in 1938
1942 Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Jim Oertling was born (Walter James Oertling, Jr.) in New Orleans on March 17, 1942. Oertling had a regional hit in 1963 with "Old Moss Back." He passed away on July 10, 2020 at age 78.
1963 Blues songstress Lizzie Miles passed away in New Orleans in 1963 at age 67
1989 R&B vocalist Bobby Mitchell passed away in New Orleans in 1989 at age 53; the Algiers native was known for his hits "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" and "Try Rock and Roll" (the latter reached #14 on the R&B chart in 1956)
1984 "I Got Mexico" by Eddy Raven entered the Country charts in 1984; it went on to become Raven's first #1 single
1999 Legendary piano man Eddie Bo lost all of his possessions in a fire that destroyed his Tulane Avenue home in 1999

1934 Vocalist Neal Kimble was born in New Orleans in 1934; Kimble hit the R&B Chart in 1968 with "I've Made A Reservation (In My Life For You)" (Venture 607).
1935 Rockabilly crooner Maylon Humphries was born (Maylon Dewitt Humphries) in Kelly, Louisiana in 1935. Available recordings include the tracks "Worried About You Baby" (with James Burton on guitar; multiple versions were recorded), "Weep No More" (backed by Dale Hawkins' band)
1940 Gospel vocalist and keyboards player Joseph Warrick (The Zion Harmonizers) was born in New Orleans in 1940
1955 Piano player, songwriter and pioneer of the "Uptown Sound" Gerald Tillman (aka "Professor Shorthair") was born in New Orleans in 1955; Gerald played piano with several New Orleans bands including The Bold Souls, the Neville Brothers, Black Male, the original Uptown Allstars (which he cofounded) and his own band, G.T and The Trustees; Gerald passed away on 09/15/86 at age 31; read more about Gerald in the Neville's bio, "The Brothers" (see rare video clip).
1967 "Nothing Takes the Place of You" by Monroe, LA native Toussaint McCall entered the R&B Chart in 1967; it went on to reach the No. 5 spot during it's 15 week run on the chart
1996 Crooner Aaron Neville performed for inmates at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola in 1996
2000 Musician, actor, educator and music activist Layton Martin passed away in New Orleans in 2000 at the age of 57; Martin worked with the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra, the New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra, the Spirit of New Orleans String Quartet, and the Spirit of New Orleans Brass Band
2002 Trad jazz musician Manuel "Manny" Crusto passed away in New Orleans in 2002 at age 83
2004 Jazz trumpeter Wallace Davenport passed away in New Orleans in 2004 at age 78; Davenport worked with Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Oscar "Papa" Celestin, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price, and many others
2009 Pianist, composer, producer, and session man Eddie Bo (nee Edwin Joseph Bocage) passed way in New Orleans in 2009 at age 79.. Bo's prolific recording output included "Tell It Like It Is," "Every Dog Has His Day," "Check Mr. Popeye," "Pass The Hatchet" and "Hook and Sling" (a Top 20 R&B hit in 1969). Writing credits included "I'm Wise" (made famous by Little Richard as "Slippin' and Slidin'"), "My Dearest Darling" (a Top 10 R&B hit for Etta James), and the Oliver Morgan classic "Who Shot The LaLa." See and the Soul Generation web site.

1896 Piano player and composer Steve Lewis was born in New Orleans in 1896; Lewis worked with the Silver Leaf Orchestra and Armand Piron; he also played with Piron and Peter Bocage for several years at Tranchina's Restaurant
1900 Late jazz drummer Abbey "Chinee" Foster was born in New Orleans in 1900; Foster worked with the Tuxedo Orchestra, Buddy Petit, and others before illness forced him to retire in the early 30's
1903 Late clarinet and sax player Andrew Morgan was born in Pensacola, FL in 1903; he was the brother of New Orleans jazz musicians Sam, Isaiah and Al Morgan; in the 1920's Andrew played with the Young Superior Band, and with his brothers Sam and Isaiah; in later years he worked with Kid Rena, Herb Morand, Kid Clayton, and others.
1919 Late blues harmonica player Little Walter Mitchell was born in New Orleans in 1919
1937 R&B vocalist Clarence "Frogman" Henry was born in New Orleans (Algiers) in 1937
1977 Trad jazz pianist Armand Hug passed away in New Orleans in 1977 at age 66; Hug primarily performed as a solo pianist, having long residencies at various clubs and also hosting his own series on local television; he was featured at the 1969 Jazz & Heritage Festival with Sharkey Bonano, Tony Parenti and Murphy Campo; you can see rare footage of Hug on the DVD "Jazz Greats of Old New Orleans"
2001 Legendary guitarist and session player James Burton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001

1927 Late fiddler and Cajun music legend Dewey Balfa was born in Mamou, LA in 1927
1948 Late R&B songstress Marva Wright was born in New Orleans in 1948.
1949 Swamp boogie pianist and vocalist Marcia Ball was born in Orange, TX in 1949
1949 Trad jazz clarinet great Irving Fazola passed away in New Orleans in 1949 at age 36
2000 Faron Young's 1961 classic single "Hello Walls" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.

1902 Late bandleader and trombone great Santo Pecora was born in New Orleans in 1902; Pecora's long career included stints with Johnny De Droit, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Charley Barnet, Wingy Manone, and Sharkey Bonano; in his latter years, he was a regular at The Dream Room and The Famous Door
1936 Late Shreveport blues man Oscar Woods recorded "Lone Wolf Blues" for the Decca label in New Orleans in 1936
1981 Clarinet and tenor sax player Oliver Alcorn passed away in New Orleans in 1981 at age 70; Oliver was the brother of late trumpeter Alvin Alcorn; he recorded with the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, the State Street Swingers, Little Brother Montgomery, and blues man Little Walter, among others
1988 Hank Williams Jr. was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 1988
1997 New Orleans-born keyboard player, vocalist, songwriter, and actor Ronnie Barron passed away in Los Angeles in 1997 at age 53; Barron was a longtime protege of Dr. John; he also worked with Paul Butterfield, John Mayall, Canned Heat, Eric Burdon, and others; Barron also appeared in several films
2009 Music club Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse (at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon Street) opens to the public in 2009.

1929 New Orleans vocal trio The Boswell Sisters recorded for the first time in 1925. The New Orleans session, for the Victor label, included the songs "You Can Call Me Baby All The Time," "I'm Gonna Cry" and "(Meet Me Tonight Dear Old) Pal O' Mine."
1929 Tenor sax great co-founder of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) Fred Anderson was born in Monroe, LA in 1929
1934 Dixieland trumpeter Connie Jones was born in New Orleans in 1934
1951 Bass player Alonzo Johnson, Jr. (with Rockin' Dopsie; Wallace Johnson) was born.
1962 Bass player Rob Savoy was born in Lafayette, LA in 1962
1964 Louis Armstrong appeared on the TV quiz show "What's My Line?" (watch video) in 1964
1969 "Don't Touch Me" by Bettye Swann entered the R&B Chart in 1969; the tune remained on the chart for 10 weeks, reaching the #14 position
1976 Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon was born (Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon) in New Orleans on March 22, 1976. Witherspoon won a Best Actress Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic "Walk The Line." She also performed on the Grammy nominated sountrack.

1925 "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Chart in 1957; the early rock classic, which featured tenor sax great Herb Hardesty, remained at No. 1 for 6 weeks; it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
1959 "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)?" by Lloyd Price entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1959; the tune ultimately reached the No. 4 position
1996 Record producer, musician and songwriter J. D. Miller passed away in Lafayette, LA in 1996 at age 73; Miller produced many swamp blues legends (including Lightnin' Slim and Slim Harpo) for Excello Records at his studio in Crowley; writing credits include the country classic "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", a 1952 smash hit for country singer Kitty Wells.
2010 R&B and Gospel songstress Marva Wright passed away in New Orleans in 2010. Wright performed around the globe and was a regular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. She appeared in the films "Crazy in Alabama" and "Hurricane on the Bayou."

1956 "Later Alligator" by Bobby Charles entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1956; the rock classic, written by Charles, was also a pop hit for Bill Haley & His Comets (as "See You Later, Alligator")
1956 "Try Rock and Roll" by Bobby Mitchell also entered the Billboard R&B Chart on this day in 1956; it was the only chart entry for the popular Algiers born vocalist
1963 Zydeco accordionist Nathan Williams was born in St. Martinville, LA in 1963; Williams is the leader of Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas
1999 Shreveport born blues guitarist and vocalist Mighty Joe Young passed away in Chicago in 1999 at age 71; the blues legend died from complications after spinal surgery which he hoped would restore feeling to his fingers (in 1986, an operation for a pinched nerve in his neck robbed Young of the feeling in his hand and made it impossible to play guitar).

1897 Beloved jazz pianist and singer "Sweet" Emma Barrett was born in New Orleans in 1897
1902 Late trad jazz clarinetist and vocalist Albert Burbank was born in New Orleans in 1902
1917 Noted R&B drummer Armand "Jump" Jackson was born in New Orleans in 1917
1933 Swamp blues man Clarence Edwards was born in Lindsay, LA in 1933
1953 Honky tonk legend Webb Pierce recorded his Top 10 hits "There Stands the Glass" and "Don't Throw Your Life Away" for the Decca label in 1953
1958 Trad jazz trombonist and bassist Tom Brown passed away in New Orleans in 1958 at age 69
1975 Former Cash Money Records rapper Juvenile (Terius Gray) was born in New Orleans in 1975
1998 The No Limit Records single "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" by New Orleans rap legend Master P was certified Gold (sales of 500,000) by the RIAA on this day in 1998
1999 Dwayne Dopsie (son of late zydeco legend Rockin' Dopsie, Sr.) was named America's Hottest Accordionist in a competition held in Branson, MO in 1999
1999 Late, great R&B vocalist Johnny Adams was honored (posthumously) with a Pioneer Award at the Tenth Annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards held in Los Angeles in 1999; in an emotional speech, Adam's widow Judy Adams recalled how her husband never received a penny in royalties from the hundreds of records he released; to loud applause, Mrs. Adams said slavery "is still dressed up in a suit"; she was greeted with a standing ovation when she wrapped up her speech by telling artists to run and get a lawyer

1991 New Orleans born pianist, vocalist, songwriter, producer and label owner Paul Gayten passed away in Los Angeles in 1991 at the age of 71
1991 The Harry Connick Jr. concert video "Swinging Out Live" was certified Gold by the RIAA on this day in 1991
1999 New Orleans Christian music trio Trin-i-tee 5:7 were celebrity guest presenters at the Soul Train Music Awards held in Los Angeles in 1999
2010 Musician, composer and educator Irvin Mayfield was sworn in as the newest member of The National Council on the Arts in 2010. Mayfield was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Arts for a full six-year term (until 2016).

1937 Late blues guitarist & vocalist Johnny Copeland was born in Haynesville, LA in 1937
1971 "Baby Let Me Kiss You" by New Orleans soul singer King Floyd entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1971; it eventually reached the No. 5 position
1972 Trumpet player and bandleader Sharkey Bonano (nee Joseph Gustaf Bonano) passed away in New Orleans in 1972 at the age of 69

1907 Late clarinetist Herb Hall was born in Reserve, LA in 1907; the brother of musician Edmond Hall, Herb worked with Sidney Desvigne, Don Albert, Sammy Price, and others
1932 Jazz vocalist Germaine Bazzle was born in New Orleans in 1932
1964 "Wish Someone Would Care" by Soul Queen Irma Thomas entered the R&B Chart in 1964; it reached the #17 spot and remained on the chart for 12 weeks
1966 Trumpet player and bandleader Kid Howard (born Avery Howard) passed away in New Orleans in 1966 at the age of 57; Howard had a long association with George Lewis, and played at Preservation Hall until shortly before his death
1981 "Texas Women" by Shreveport native Hank Williams, Jr. hit #1 on the Country Chart in 1981; it was the first of three No. 1 hits for Hank, Jr. in 1981
1987 Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was the musical guest on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' in 1987; Wynton and band performed "J Mood" and "One Mustaad"; catch a repeat of this show on April 6th (on Comedy Central)
1987 New Orleans rap star Juvenile (Terius Gray) was arrested in Miami, FL in 2001 after konking a guy in the head with a champagne bottle in an altercation outside a comedy club (read more).
2001 Trad jazz pianist Jeanette Kimball (née Jeanette Salvant) passed away in Charleston, S.C. in 2001 at age 94; Kimball recorded with Papa Celestin's Original Tuxedo Orchestra (see photo) as early as 1926; in later years Kimball was a regular at Preservation Hall

1901 Late clarinetist and composer Sidney Arodin was born in Westwego, LA in 1901; Arodin co-wrote "(Up A) Lazy River" with Hoagy Carmichael; he recorded with the Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight, Wingy Manone, and Louis Prima, among others more
1937 Musician and vocalist Van Broussard, aka the "King of Swamp Pop" was born (Van Buren Broussard, Jr.) in Prairieville, LA in 1937. He passed away on November 17th, 2020 at the age of 83. Van was the brother of Grace Broussard (of Dale & Grace fame).
1947 Vocalist and keyboard player Bobby Kimball (of Toto fame) was born in Orange, TX in 1947; Kimball, raised in nearby Vinton, Louisiana, played in several New Orleans bands before moving to Los Angeles in 1974; in L.A., he formed a band (SS Fools) with former members of 3 Dog Night; he went on to become a founding member of noted rock band Toto.
1975 "Lady Marmalade" by vocal group LaBelle hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1975; the song was produced by Allen Toussaint and featured backing by The Meters.
2001 Trumpeter and longtime Olympia Brass Band leader Milton Batiste, Jr. passed away in New Orleans in 2001 at age 66.
2003 Trad jazz bassist and drummer Placide Adams passed away in New Orleans in 2003 at age 73; Adams was the longtime leader of the Onward Brass Band, and also worked with many R&B legends (Roy Brown, Clyde McPhatter, B.B. King, etc).

1955 Fats Domino recorded "La-La" and "Blue Monday" at Master Recorders studio in Hollywood in 1955. "Blue Monday" would go on to reach #1 on the R&B Chart (for eight weeks), and #5 on the Pop Chart. The tune was featured in the 1956 film "The Girl Can't Help It." Backing Fats on the session were Walter "Papoose" Nelson, Billy Diamond, Cornelius "Tenoo" Coleman, Buddy Hagans and Herb Hardesty.
1956 R&B and jazz vocalist Charmaine Neville was born in New Orleans in 1956; Charmaine is the daughter of Charles Neville
1999 The Neville Brothers appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in 1999; the band performed "Little Piece of Heaven", from their album, "Valence Street."

1895 Late blues songstress Lizzie Miles was born in New Orleans in 1895
1938 Guitar legend Lonnie Johnson recorded "Mr. Johnson's Swing" for the Decca label in New York in 1938.
1945 "I Wonder" by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra entered the R&B (Race) Jukebox Chart in 1945
1961 Instant Records released "I Like It Like That, Part 1" (backed with "Part 2") by Chris Kenner on this day in 1961; the song eventually reached No. 2 on both the R&B and Pop Charts
1983 Jazz trumpeter and bandleader Christian Scott was born in New Orleans in 1983.
2001 Cajun and country star Jimmy C. Newman appeared on TNN's "Grand Ole Opry Live" in 2001.
2001 New Orleans rap star Silkk the Shocker (born Vyshonne Miller) was among the musical guests on the syndicated series "Soul Train" in 2001. - On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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