- On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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

1989 The single "Iko Iko" by British pop group The Belle Stars entered the Billboard Pop Chart in 1989; the calypso flavored New Orleans R&B classic was originally by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford (recorded as "Jock-A-Mo" by Sugar Boy & His Cane Cutters in 1954); "Iko Iko" was also a Top 20 Pop and R&B hit for The Dixie Cups in 1965, and was later popularized by Dr. John, Ringo Starr, Cyndi Lauper, and many others; the Belle Stars version was originally recorded in 1983; it became a surprise hit in 1989 after being featured in the Dustin Hoffman film "Rain Man."
1991 New Orleans-born reeds player, composer and bandleader Eddie Miller passed away in Van Nuys, CA in 1991 at the age of 79; Miller was a long time member of Bob Crosby's band; in later years, he performed at the New Orleans Jazz Fest (1969) and worked with Pete Fountain.
1991 Noted swamp blues guitarist Ervin Charles passed away in Beaumont, TX in 2000 at age 68; the Port Barre, LA native moved to Beaumont in 1952 and formed the Hollywood Bearcats with fellow Louisiana native Long John Hunter; he later worked with Big Sambo and the Housewreckers, Sam Young and the Soul Lovers, and his own band The Nite Riders; Charles was featured on two tracks of the classic "Lone Star Shootout" sessions; his only solo album was released on Dialtone Records shortly after his passing.
2001 Harry Connick Jr. narrated the CBS Sports documentary, "Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich", which aired nationally on this day in 2001

1892 Late trombone player Roy Palmer was born in New Orleans in 1892; Palmer worked with Richard M. Jones and Wille Hightower early in his career; he moved to Chicago in 1917 with Lawrence ; and worked with Duhé in Sugar Johnny Smith's band (which was later led by Joe "King" Oliver); Palmer recorded with Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds, Richard M. Jones, the State Street Ramblers, and others; he also taught music - his pupils included noted New Orleans trombonists Albert Wynn and Preston Jackson
1911 Late trumpeter Ernie Cagnolatti was born in Madisonville, LA in 1911; Cagnolatti worked with Herbert Leary's big band, Paul Barbarin, Jim Robinson and others; he paraded with the George Williams Brass Band in the 50's

1906 Late jazz pianist, singer and bandleader Walter "Fats" Pichon was born in New Orleans in 1906; the popular entertainer worked with Amos Riley, Sidney Desvigne and A.J. Piron among others; he was a fixture at The Old Absinthe House in the 1940's and 50's (more).
1948 The Louisiana Hayride radio show premiered on station KWKH in Shreveport in 1948; the program introduced the nation to many future music legends, including Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Ray Proce, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and Johnny Horton.
1955 Noted New Orleans blues guitarist John Mooney was born in East Orange, NJ in 1955.
1960 Guitarist, singer and songwriter John Thomas Griffith (with Cowboy Mouth, Red Rockers) was born in Lubbock, TX in 1960.
1961 Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington recorded a collection of Ellington standards at RCA Studios in New York in 1961; the sessions included "Azalea", a tune Ellington had written many years before with Louis in mind.
1998 New Orleans sax legend Alvin "Red" Tyler passed away in 1998 at age 72; as a member of Cosimo Matassa's legendary J&M Studio band, Tyler lent his baritone sax to R&B hits by Shirley & Lee, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and many others; a modern jazz musician at heart, Tyler later worked with Germaine Bazzle (among others) and released two critically acclaimed solo albums on Rounder Records.
1999 The 50th anniversary of the Louisiana Hayride radio show was celebrated in 1999; "Louisiana Hayride Homecoming", held at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium (the original home of the Hayride), featured performances by Willie Nelson, Merle Kilgore, Tillman Franks, Johnny Gimble, Leroy Van Dyke, Maggie Lewis Warwick, Doug Kershaw, Jett Williams and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
2001 Long time Olympia Brass Band drummer Nowell "Papa" Glass passed away in New Orleans in 2001 at age 73; Glass, with the Olympia for 37 years, was the son of New Orleans drumming legend Booker T. Glass, who played with the Camelia Band (circa 1918), George Williams Brass Band, Eureka Brass Band, and others

1917 Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Jolly (born George Landry) of the The Wild Tchoupitoulas tribe was born in New Orleans in 1917; Landry, who passed away in 1980, was the uncle of the Neville Brothers; read more / watch video.
1937 Blues man Robert Cage was born in New Orleans in 1937
1939 Cajun musician and songwriter (and deejay) Camey Doucet was born in Crowley, Louisiana in 1939.
1948 R&B and soul vocalist Ernie Johnson was born in Winnfield, LA in 1948 (read more)
1961 Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington wrapped up their historic two day recording sessions at RCA Studios in New York in 1961; the output of these sessions is available on the album "The Great Summit: The Master Takes."
1970 "Chicken Strut" by The Meters entered the R&B Chart in 1970; it went on to reach the #11 position
1999 Noted Cajun accordionist Aldus Roger passed away in Lafayette, LA in 1999 at age 83; the Carencro, LA native hosted the weekly "Aldus Roger & The Lafayette Playboys" television show over KLFY TV-10 in Lafayette from 1955 to 1970

1923 Louis Armstrong was recorded for the very first time on this day in 1923; the historic session with King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band was recorded in Richmond, Indiana for the Gennett label; tracks included "Just Gone", "Canal Street Blues", "Mandy Lee Blues", "I'm Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind", and "Chimes Blues", which featured Louis' first significant cornet solo
1926 Honkytonker Lou Millet was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1926; Millet had a regional hit in 1951 with "That's Me Without You" on J.D. Miller's Feature label; two of his tracks from 1956 ("Slip, Slip, Slippin' In" and "Shorty The Barber") are available on the "Date Bait" import album.
1952 "The Big Question" by Minden, LA native Percy Mayfield entered the R&B Chart in 1952; it went on to reach the #6 spot
1990 Jazz trombonist Louis Nelson passed away in New Orleans in 1990 at age 87; Nelson had long associations with Kid Thomas, George Lewis, and performing at Preservation Hall.
1990 Mickey Gilley's Theater opened in Branson, MO in 1990; owner and country music legend Mickey Gilley performs regularly at the venue.
1997 Rapper Albert "Yella Boy" Thomas was murdered in New Orleans in 1997 (age 23); Thomas was a member of the popular local rap group U.N.L.V..

1943 Late jazz saxophonist, composer, and founder of the AltSax Record label Noah Howard was born in New Orleans in 1943.
1960 Louisiana Music Factory owner Barry Smith was born in New Orleans in 1960
1987 Shreveport native Hank Williams Jr. was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 1987
1995 New Orleans-born guitarist Eddie Freche passed away in 1995 at age 47; Freche was a member of The Neville Brothers band at the time of his passing; he had also worked with The Nobles and the Boogie Kings, among others.
1998 In 1998, a group of 27 music country artists led by Tim McGraw filed suit against Los Angeles resident Jim Salmon who registered the names of the plaintiffs as Internet domain names
2001 Young rap star Lil Romeo (Percy Romeo Miller) made his national TV debut on The Jenny Jones Show in 2001 (at age 11); Romeo is the son of No Limit Records founder Master P.
2011 The Recording Academy announced a major overhaul of Grammy Award Categories on April 06, 2011. The restructuring eliminated the "Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album" category, which was introduced at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards held in 2008. Effective in 2012 (54th Grammy Awards), "Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album" will fall into the "Best Regional Roots Music Album" category competing with "Best Hawaiian Music Album" and "Best Native American Music Album".

1897 Late cornet player Isaiah Morgan (brother of New Orleans musicians Al, Andrew and Sam Morgan) was born in Bertrandville, LA in 1897; he formed the Young Morgan Band in 1922; this group later bacame the Sam Morgan Jazz Band (see photo), led by brother Sam, with Andrew on reeds; the group recorded for Columbia in a session at Werlein's Music Store in 1927; Isaiah took over the group in 1932 after Sam suffered a stroke; the band continued to perform into the 1950's, mainly on the Gulf Coast
1919 The Original Dixieland Jazz Band performed for returning World War 1 servicemen and their generals at The Hippodrome in London in 1919.
1986 Hank Williams, Jr.'s 1981 album "The Pressure Is On" was certified Platinum in 1986
1997 Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for music on this day in 1997; Marsalis received the award for "Blood on the Fields", his epic oratorio on slavery
2010 Tenor sax great Eddie Johnson passed away in Chicago at age 89; Johnson was a native of Napoleonville, Louisiana (see bio)

1909 Late trumpeter, sax player, arranger and bandleader George Dixon was born in New Orleans in 1909; Dixon worked with Sammy Stewart (1928 - 1930) and Earl Hines from 1930 to 1942; after a stint in the Navy, he formed his own band which had a long run at The Circle Inn in Chicago.
1938 New Orleans "cornet king" and Louis Armstrong mentor Joe "King" Oliver passed away in Savannah, GA in 1938 at the age of 52
1962 Beat-keeper extraordinaire Shannon Powell was born in New Orleans in 1962.

1890 Reeds, violin and string bass player Louis James was born in Thibodeaux, LA in 1890; he played with the James Brothers Orchestra there in the 1920's; in New Orleans, he worked with Jack Carey, Amos Riley, Frankie Dusen, Joe Howard, Louis Dumaine, Percy Humphrey, and others
1904 Late trumpeter and bandleader Joseph "Sharkey" Bonano was born in Milneburg, LA in 1904.
1921 The late Big Chief Lawrence Fletcher of the White Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe was born in New Orleans in 1921
1936 Gospel preacher Black Billy Sunday (Reverend J. Gordon McPherson) passed away in New Orleans in 1936 at age 67.
1937 Louis Armstrong took over hosting duties on the national radio show "Fleischman's Yeast Hour" as a substitue for Rudy Valee in 1937.
1938 Late Zydeco star Rockin' Sidney Simien was born in LeBeau, LA in 1938; Sidney won a Grammy in 1985 for the smash hit "My Toot Toot"
1963 Trombonist and composer Eddie Edwards passed away in New York in 1963 at the age of 71; Edwards was a founding member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band; he cowrote the trad jazz standards "Tiger Rag" and "Fidgety Feet"
2000 Shreveport guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd made his acting debut in 2000, appearing on the WB sitcom, "Movie Stars" (photo); Kenny and his band also performed on the show ("Last Goodbye").
2003 R&B drummer Clarence Brown (aka "Junie Boy") passed away in New Orleans in 2003 at age 62; Brown kept the beat for Fats Domino for over 30 years, and also worked with The Hawketts, Willie Tee, and George French; see Brown in action on the DVD "Fats Domino - Live From Austin TX."

1940 Louis Armstrong recorded "W.P.A." and "Boog-It" with The Mills Brothers for the Decca label in 1940.
1946 Blues man J. Monque'D (James Monque Digby) was born in New Orleans in 1946
1965 "Iko Iko" by The Dixie Cups entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1965.
1989 New Orleans-born Gospel singer Bessie Griffin passed away in Culver City, CA in 1989 at the age of 66
2001 Britney Spears and Tim McGraw were winners at the 7th Annual Blockbuster Awards, held in Los Angeles in 2001; Britney was named "Favorite Female Pop Artist" and McGraw picked up the award for "Favorite Male Country Artist"; the show featured a performance by NOLA rapper Mystikal (with R&B singer Joe).
2001 The VH1 Divas Live tribute to Aretha Franklin was held at Radio City Music Hall in 2001; the special included a performance of "Precious Memories" by Aretha with Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church Pastor Bishop Paul S. Morton.

1889 Original Dixieland Jazz Band founder and cornetist Nick LaRocca was born in New Orleans in 1889; see the ODJB web site for more info.
1912 Jazz bassist John Levy was born in New Orleans in 1912; Levy played with Erroll Garner, Billy Holiday, George Shearing, and many other jazz greats in the 1940's; he laid down his bass in 1951 to become a highly successful personal manager (clients have included George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderley and Ramsey Lewis); his biography, "Men, Women, and Girl Singers: My Life As a Musician Turned Talent Manager", was published in February, 2001; he was named an NEA Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006.
1935 Late R&B vocalist and composer of the garage rock classic "Louie, Louie", Richard Berry was born in Extension, LA in 1935; Berry was a noted R&B vocalist with The Flairs, The Robins and The Coasters; he provided the male vocal on the 1955 Etta James smash "The Wallflower", aka "Roll With Me Henry"; Berry originally recorded "Louie Louie" in 1956; read more at
1989 The Hank Williams, Jr. collection "Greatest Hits III" was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1989
2010 The HBO series "Treme" premiered on April 11, 2010. Treme has featured appearnces by dozens of New Orleans music artists, and NOLA music figures prominently in the series soundtrack.

1892 Legendary clarinetist and bandleader Johnny Dodds was born in New Orleans in 1892
1917 Blues pianist J.D. Nicholson (James David Nicholson) was born in Monroe, LA in 1917; J.D. worked with Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner, and others
1926 Late blues vocalist, bassist, and band leader Andrew McMahon was born in Delhi, LA in 1926; McMahon was a long time member of Howlin' Wolf's band before recording on his own in 1973
1954 New Orleans-based guitar slinger Brint Anderson was born in Natchez, MS in 1954.
1977 Electronic music pioneer Charlie Cooper (Charles W. Cooper III) was born in Marrero, Louisiana in 1977. Charlie co-founded the popular ambient / electronica duo Telefon Tel Aviv with his friend, Joshua Eustis in 1999. He passed away unexpectedly in Chicago in January 2009 at age 31.
1989 Pete Fountain made his 50th appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1989.

1926 Legendary record producer and owner of famed J&M Studios Cosimo Matassa was born in New Orleans in 1926
1958 Shreveport, LA native Van Cliburn earned 1st prize at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow in 1958
1965 The 1964 Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles in 1965; Louis Armstrong picked up the award (his only Grammy) in the Best Male Vocal Performance category for "Hello, Dolly"; the tune, from the Broadway musical of the same name, also won Song of The Year honors for writer Jerry Herman; fellow trumpeter Herb Alpert later recalled Satchmo's reaction to his victory; "I've been playing for 50 years and now I've got a f***ing number one record! I don't know what happened to all those other records. But I'm singin' on this one and winning awards!"
1967 The musical "Catch My Soul" closed in Los Angeles in 1967 after grossing over a half million dollars; the play, a "rock & roll" version of Shakespeare's Othello, featured Jerry Lee Lewis as the villian Iago
1974 Trumpeter and educator Brice Miller (Pin Stripe Brass Band, Mahogany Brass Band, All That) was born in New Orleans in 1974
Charts "The Frim Fram Sauce", a duet by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitgerald, entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1946 - "This Should Go on Forever" by Rod Bernard entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1959 - "Sea Cruise" by Frankie Ford entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1959.

1932 Noted Cajun vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (Doris Leon) D.L. Menard (aka "The Cajun Hank Williams") was born in Erath, LA in 1932. In 1994, Menard received a National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts. His 2010 album "Happy Go Lucky" was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album category. He is n iductee of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Cajun Music Hall of Fame. Menard passed away on July 27, 2017 at age 85.
1955 Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" was released on this day in 1955; the tune was his first to enter the Billboard Pop Chart
1957 Honky tonk legend Webb Pierce recorded his Top 10 hits "Bye Bye Love" and "Missing You" for the Decca label in 1957
1958 Shreveport born classical pianist Van Cliburn was featured on national TV for the first time on NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jack Paar in 1958
1965 Future Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Jerry Lee Lewis and James Burton appeared on the ABC TV series Shindig! in 1965
1969 The NBC TV special "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" aired on April 14, 1969. The special starred The Monkees, with guest appearances by Julie Driscoll, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Brian Auger and The Trinity, The Clara Ward Singers, The Buddy Miles Express, Paul Arnold and The Moon Express, and We Three.
1974 Noted string bass player Al Morgan passed away in Los Angeles in 1974 at age 65; the New Orleans native was the brother of cornetist Sam Morgan; musical associations included stints with Fate Marable, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Les Hite, and Sabby Lewis; he appeared in the films "Going Places" (with Louis Armstrong), "The Gene Krupa Story" and "King Creole"
1975 ReBirth Brass Band trumpeter Derrick Shezbie was born in New Orleans in 1975.
1987 Ferriday, LA native Mickey Gilley sued to dissolve his ties with the Pasadena, TX nightclub bearing his name in 1987
1988 Noted New Orleans born saxophonist Norwood Pony Poindexter passed away in Oakland, CA in 1988 at the age of 62; Pony, a bop oriented musician, worked with trumpeter Sidney Desvignes in New Orleans before moving to California, and later to Europe; his autobiography, "The Pony Express, Memoirs of a Jazz Musician", was published in 1985.
1999 Cash Money Records rapper Juvenile was the musical guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on this day in 1999
2000 Teen pop queen Britney Spears was named "Favorite Female Singer" at Nickelodeon's 13th Annual Kids' Choice Awards, held at the Hollywood Bowl on April 14th.
2007 Tenor sax legend Herman Riley passed away in Los Angeles in 2007 at age 73. The New Orleans native got his professional start while still in high school when Lee Allen hired him for recording sessions in New Orleans. He later worked with Count Basie, Benny Carter, Jimmy Smith, Joe Williams, Donald Byrd, Gene Ammons, Blue Mitchell, Quincy Jones, and countless other musical giants.

1920 Trumpeter Joshua "Jack" Willis was born in Galena, IL in 1920; Willis marched with the Young Tuxedo and George Williams Brass Bands, and also worked with George Lewis, among others.
1931 Late R&B singer Little Sonny Jones was born in New Orleans in 1931; Little Sonny was the featured singer in Dave Bartholomew's Imperial Recording Orchestra in early 1950's; he also worked with the Lastie Brothers in the 1960's
1937 Blues guitar great and longtime Clifton Chenier sideman Harry Hypolite was born in St. Martinville, Louisiana; Hypolite was killed in an auto accident near Baton Rouge in June of 2005.
1943 Southern soul man Mighty Sam McClain was born in Monroe, LA in 1943
1966 Jazz legend Louis Armstrong was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1966
1980 Louis Armstrong Park, in New Orleans Treme' neighborhood, was dedicated on April 15, 1980. The ceremony included the unveiling of a 12-foot statue of Satchmo. Celebs in attendance at the event included Mrs. Lucille Armstrong (Armstrong's widow), Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Dave Brubeck. See photo.
1989 The single "Sister Rosa" by The Neville Brothers entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1989
1999 Pop star Britney Spears made her first appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1999
2000 Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in 2000; Gate was sitting in with the SNL band (see photo).
2005 Vocalist and songwriter John Fred passed away in 2005 at age 63. The Baton Rouge, LA native (born John Fred Gourrier) had a #1 hit in 1968 with the pop classic "Judy in Disguise" (by John Fred and the Playboys). Read more here.

1911 Late trad jazz pianist and vocalist Alton Purnell was born in New Orleans in 1911; a long time member of George Lewis' band, Purnell also worked with Bunk Johnson, Cousin Joe, Sidney Desvignes, Alphonse Picou, and others
1939 Late zydeco and cajun legend John Delafose was born in Duralde, LA in 1939; his backing band, The Eunice Playboys, featured his son Geno Delafose.
1974 Saxophone great Clarence Johnson III was born in New Orleans in 1974
1990 The Neville Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Simple Minds and Tracy Chapman were among the artists who took part in a concert at London's Wembly Stadium in 1990 to celebrate the release of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela from prison
1994 Crooner & piano man Harry Connick Jr. married former Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans in 1994

1890 Late guitarist and banjo player Johnny St. Cyr was born in New Orleans in 1890; St. Cyr worked with Freddy Keppard, Armand Piron, Kid Ory, and many others; he was featured on the classic Louis Armstrong Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, and he led The Young Men of New Orleans at Disneyland in Los Angeles in the 1960's.
1890 Late clarinetist Gus Mueller was born in New Orleans in 1890; Mueller worked with Papa Laine's Reliance Band before moving to Chicago with Tom Brown's band in 1915; he also had a long association with Paul Whiteman's orchestra, who he recorded with in 1920; Mueller wrote the early jazz classic "Wang Wang Blues"
1901 Late violinist and accordion player J. B. (Jean Baptiste) Fusilier was born in Oberlin, LA in 1901; the early Cajun music star recorded with Miller's Merrymakers and as well as under his own name.
1967 Legendary trumpeter, bandleader, and New Orleans (Algiers) native Henry "Red" Allen passed away in New York City in 1967 at the age of 59; Allen worked with Fate Marable, Luis Russell, Louis Armstrong, and many others
1972 New Orleans born bandleader and clarinet great Tony Parenti passed away in New York at the age of 71
2003 Blues guitarist, songwriter and producer Earl King (Earl Silas Johnson) passed away in New Orleans in 2003 at age 69. Notable King writing credits included "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights", "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)", "Do-Re-Mi", "Trick Bag" and the Mardi Gras classic "Big Chief."
2007 Country music producer and songwriter Glenn Sutton passed away in Nashville. TN in 2007 at age 69. The Hodge, Louisiana native won a Grammy in 1966 for "Almost Persuaded" (a #1 hit by Bossier City, LA native David Houston), which he co-wrote with Billy Sherrill. He also wrote or shared credits on "I Don't Want to Play House" (a #1 hit for Tammy Wynette), "What Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser Out of Me)" (a #2 hit for Jerry Lee Lewis), "Pair of Old Sneakers" (George Jones & Tammy Wynette), and many other country classics. Sutton was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

1891 Late cornet player Hypolite Charles was born in Parks, LA in 1891; Charles worked in New Orleans with the Silver Leaf Orchestra, the Excelsior Brass Band, and the Tuxedo Brass Band; he also led his own orchestra which played at the Moulin Rouge and Tranchina's; for more info, see Austin Sonnier's "Second Linin' - Jazzmen of Southwest Louisiana".
1906 Late blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery was born in Kentwood, LA in 1906; Montgomery worked with Kid Ory, Otis Rush and Buddy Guy, among others
1924 Musician, vocalist, Grammy winner, and multi W.C. Handy Award winner Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was born in Vinton, LA in 1924; Brown passed away in September 2005, shortly after evacuating his Slidell, LA home due to Hurricane Katrina
1937 Sax man James Rivers was born in New Orleans in 1937
1941 Clarinet/reeds legend Sidney Bechet recorded "The Sheik of Araby" and "Blues of Bechet" for the Victor label in 1941; he played six different instruments on the one-man session; clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, piano, bass and drums; in his autobiography, "Treat it Gentle", Bechet recalled that the Musicians Union forced RCA to pay him the wages of six musicians; the tracks set a precedent for overdubbing techniques that are commonplace in recording today
1995 Pantera lead singer and New Orleans native Phillip Anselmo apologized to the security guard he hit on the head during a June 1994 concert in Dairan, New York

1889 Late trad jazz and brass band drummer Ernest Rogers was born in New Orleans in 1889; Rogers worked with the Silver Leaf Orchestra, Richard M. Jones, and the Young Tuxedo Brass Band among others; he recorded with Bunk Johnson and "Big Eye" Louis Nelson (Louis DeLisle) in the 1940's
1944 Bandleader and clarinet legend Jimmie Noone passed away in Los Angeles in 1944 at age 48; the Cut Off, Louisiana native played with Freddie Keppard, Kid Ory, King Oliver, and others before leading his own bands
1956 Swing-meister Louis Prima recorded "Just A Gigolo", "Oh Marie", "Buena Sera", "Jump Jive, An' Wail", and other tracks for Capitol Records on this day in 1956; they originally appeared on the album, "The Wildest", and are also available on the "Capitol Collectors Series" compilation CD
1972 Longtime Soul Rebels Brass Band tuba man Damion Francois was born in New Orleans in 1972; Francois relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina

1895 Late trombone player and string bassist Emile Christian was born in New Orleans in 1895; Christian worked with Papa Jack Laine, Merritt Brunies, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and others; he was featured with Sharkey Bonano at the 1969 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
1921 Ragtime piano player Tony Jackson passed away in Chicago in 1921 at age 44; Jackson, born on Amelia Street in 1876, played in Storyville brothels before the turn of the century; he later worked in Kentucky before permanently moving to Chicago; a prolific composer, his most famous tune was "Pretty Baby"; he also wrote "Michigan Water Blues" and "The Naked Dance"; both were recorded in the late 30's by Jelly Roll Morton
1931 Louis Armstrong first recorded the tune that became his theme song, "When It's Sleepy Time Down South", for Okeh Records in Chicago in 1931
1957 "Just Because" by R&B great Larry Williams entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1957; the tune, his first chart hit, was written by Lloyd Price (it was also a No. 3 hit for Price)
1994 Zydeco accordionist Delton Broussard passed away in Lawtell, Louisiana in 1994 at age 66. Broussard was a longtime leader of the Lawtell Playboys. His sons Jeffery and Shelton were members of the band Zydeco Force. His grandson is Jimmy Seraile Jr., aka Lil Pookie (of Lil Pookie & the Zydeco Heartbreakers). See clips of Delton Broussard in Nick Spitzer's film "Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana."
1998 Allen Toussaint, Pete Fountain, and The Radiators were among the honorees at the Big Easy Awards in 1998.

1884 Influential clarinetist Lorenzo Tio, Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1884; Tio had long associations with the Onward Brass Band and Armand Piron; Tio and his father taught many later clarinet legends including Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone; he can be found on recordings by Jelly Roll Morton, Clarence Williams and Sidney Bechet.
1904 Late drummer and Dixieland Hall of Fame member Leo Adde was born in New Orleans in 1904; Adde played with Johnny Bayersdorffer, The Halfway House Orchestra, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Johnnie Miller's New Orleans Frolickers, Sharkey Bonano, and others
1977 R&B songstress Blanche Thomas passed away in New Orleans in 1977 at age 54
1977 Singer and songwriter (and Bossier City, LA native) Jesse Winchester performed in the US for the first time in ten years following a move to Canada to avoid the draft
1966 Dukes of Dixieland trombonist Fred Assunto passed away after suffering a heart attack in Las Vegas; he was only 36 years old.
1979 "Say Won'tcha" by New Orleans funk band Chocolate Milk entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1979
1999 Ernie K-Doe, Boozoo Chavis, Master P and Johnny Adams were among honorees at the 1999 Big Easy Awards held in New Orleans in 1999; the ceremony was highlighted by a performance from Allen Toussaint with Ernie K-Doe.

1898 Country blues man (ukelele, guitar, banjo, vocals) Lemoine "Lemon" Nash was born in Lakeland, LA in 1898; recordings bu Nash can be found on The Larry Borenstein Collection Volume 9.
1908 Late trumpeter and band leader Avery "Kid" Howard was born in New Orleans in 1908; Howard led his own band, and later played with George Lewis (check out "Jazz Funeral In New Orleans") and at Preservation Hall
1945 Country singer, songwriter (and cardiologist) Cleve Francis was born in Jennings, LA in 1945.
1959 Alan Freed's last rock & roll movie, "Go, Johnny, Go!" premiered on this day in 1959; the film featured Chuck Berry, Jimmy Clanton, Eddie Cochran, Ritchie Valens, and Jackie Wilson.
1961 The first annual Country Music Festival was held in Jacksonville, FL in 1961; performers included Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, and Louisiana natives Webb Pierce and Faron Young.
1970 The first New Orleans Jazz Festival was held in Congo Square and Municipal Auditorium in 1970 (it ran from April 22-26); performers included Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Al Hirt and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (joined by film director Woody Allen on clarinet); the inaugural Jazz Fest also featured the first commercial appearances by the Wild Magnolias and Golden Eagles.
1972 "Chantilly Lace", by Jerry Lee Lewis, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1972; the tune was a hit for the Big Bopper in 1958
1979 Keith Richards' first solo group, "The New Barbarians", made their debut at a benefit concert in Ottowa in 1979; the band line-up included drummer extraordinaire Zigaboo Modeliste.
1980 Gospel singer Rev. Louis Overstreet passed away in Phoenix, AZ in 1980 at age 59; Overstreet was a native of Lakeland, LA
1998 Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill won four awards at the 33rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards in 1998 for their duet "It's Your Love" (single, song, video and top vocal event).

1895 Late band leader and clarinet great Jimmie Noone was born in Cut Off, LA in 1895; Noone took lessons from Sidney Bechet, and played with Freddie Keppard, Kid Ory, King Oliver, and others before leading his own bands; he was one of the most significant New Orleans reed players of his time and became a vital link between the older Crescent City style of playing and the Chicago swing style
1955 "My Babe" by blues harp legend and Marksville, LA native Little Walter reached #1 on the R&B Chart in 1955; the tune was written by blues legend Willie Dixon and was based on the spiritual "This Train"
1956 Elvis Presley (accompanied by Bill Black, Scotty Moore and Shreveport, LA native D.J. Fontana made his Las Vegas debut at the New Frontier Hotel in 1956; Elvis was dropped from the bill after only a week due to poor audience response
1981 Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins joined Johnny Cash on stage during a concert in Stuttgart, Germany in 1981; all three were touring Europe at the time, but Lewis and Perkins had a night off; the impromptu jam was recorded and later released as "The Survivors"
1991 Punk rock legend Johnny Thunders was found dead in a New Orleans hotel in 1991; the former New York Dolls guitarist, age 38, died of a drug overdose
1995 Swamp blues legend Lonesome Sundown (born Cornelius Green) passed away in Gonzales, LA in 1995 at age 66; Sundown played with Clifton Chenier's band (which also featured guitarist Phillip Walker) in the 50's before recording several J.D. Miller produced solo hits on the Excello label
1999 The 30th edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival began on this day in 1999; the line-up included Willie Nelson, Corey Harris, Tommy Ridgley, and Carol Fran & Clarence Hollimon.

1935 Late Preservation Hall manager, owner and musician Allan Jaffe was born in Pottsville, PA in 1935
1961 "Mother-In-Law" by the late, great Ernie K-Doe reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Chart in 1961; Allen Toussaint wrote and produced the tune, which featured Benny Spellman's deep bass voice on the chorus.
1969 1960's singing family The Cowsills received a Gold record for their hit single, "Hair", from the Broadway show of the same name, in 1969; the group included (then) 10 year old Susan Cowsill.
1984 Jerry Lee Lewis married his sixth wife, 22-year-old Kerrie McCarver, in 1984
1987 Leon Redbone, Mason Ruffner, David Lastie's R&B All Stars and James Black were among the performers on opening day of the 18th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1987; evening events included a Riverboat President cruise with Fats Domino and The Four Tops
1993 "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" by Kaplan, LA native Sammy Kershaw hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1993
1997 The Neville Brothers signed a recording contract with Columbia Records on this day in 1997; the since dissolved relationship produced one album - 1999's "Valence Street".
1998 The 29th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opened; headlining performers included Bonnie Raitt, Katie Webster, Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, a Doobie Brothers Reunion, Ziggy Marley, and Tiny Town.
1999 Accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco was featured on TV's "CBS News Saturday Morning" in 1999.

1877 Late trombonist Leonard Bechet (brother of clarinet legend Sidney Bechet) was born in New Orleans in 1877; Bechet become a prominent dentist after leaving music
1915 Late reeds player Sal Franzella (Salvator Franzella, Jr.) was born in New Orleans in 1915; Franzella worked with Louis Prima, and was also a prominent studio musician in New York and Los Angeles; he recorded with Jack Teagarden, Teddy Grace, Frank Sinatra, and many others
1932 Cajun vocalist Vin Bruce (Ervin Bruce), aka the "King of Cajun Singers", was born in Cut Off, LA in 1932
1949 Trumpeter and band leader Henry "Kid" Rena passed away in New Orleans in 1949 at age 50; Rena took Louis Armstrong's place in Kid Ory's band when Louis went to work on the S.S. Capitol in 1919; he later led his own bands, and also had a long association with the Tuxedo Brass Band
1966 Soul Rebels Brass Band beat keeper Derrick "Oops" Moss was born in New Orleans in 1966
1986 The 1986 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opened on this day. Fair Grounds performers included Oliver Morgan, Cyril Neville & Uptown All-Stars, James Black, Woodenhead, Aaron Neville, Zachary Richard, and Lil' Queenie. Miles Davis and Stanley Clarke performed in an evening concert at the Saengar Theatre.
1999 Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew were reunited on stage for the first time in twelve years at the 30th Annual Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1999

1935 Songwriter, piano, and bass player Roy "Boogie Boy" Perkins was born (Ernie Suarez) in Lafayette, LA in 1935; Perkins had a regional hit in the early 50's with "You're On My Mind" which was later covered by Rod Bernard; he also played with The Riff Raffs, who backed him on his Ram Records single "Drop Top"; Perkins later worked with Warren Storm, The Swing Kings, and Johnny Allen
1975 Trumpeter Tannon "Fish" Williams (Soul Rebels Brass Band, Brass-A-Holics Brass Band) was born in New Orleans in 1975
1996 Avant-garde rock group Phish helped draw huge crowds to the opening day of the 1996 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
1998 Eddy Raven, Trace Adkins, and other country music stars raised $10,000 for tornado relief in a benefit concert held at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon in 1998
2000 Noted Cajun accordion player, vocalist, composer and author Moise Robin passed away in Arnaudville, LA in 2000 at the age of 89; Robin recorded as early as 1929, on sessions with Leo Soileau.
2003 Actor, comedian and singer Jamie Foxx was arrested after a scuffle with security guards and police at Harrah's Casino in New Orleans in 2003. Foxx was charged with trespassing, battery on officers and resisting arrest. In 2004, he was placed on two years probation and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

1932 Country music singer and songwriter Maxine Brown was born in Campti, LA in 1931; Maxine was member of the vocal group The Browns with siblings Connie and Jim Ed Brown; The Browns performed on The Louisiana Hayride in the early 50's; their biggest success came in 1959 with the cross-over hit "The Three Bells" which topped the Billboard Country and Pop charts, and also reached No. 10 on the R&B Chart
1959 "Personality" by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Lloyd Price was released on this day in 1959; the song went on to reach No. 1 on the R&B Chart and No. 2 on the Pop Chart.
1967 Louis Armstrong 's classic "What A Wonderful World" hit No.1 on the British pop charts in 1968 (it remained at the top spot for 4 weeks).
1973 Jerry Lee Lewis, Linda Gail Lewis and Lloyd Price on NBC's "The Midnight Special" in 1973
1980 Trombonist and band leader Glen David Andrews was born in New Orleans in 1980
1990 The 21st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opened in 1990; performers on this day included the The Subdudes, Tribe Nunzio, Boogie Bill Webb, John Delafose & The Eunice Playboys, Toots & The Maytals, and Elvin Bishop.
1999 Trumpet legend Al Hirt passed away in New Orleans in 1999 at age 76; after a stint as an Army bugler during World War II, Hirt joined Benny Goodman's Orchestra in 1946; he later worked with The Dorsey Brothers, Ray McKinley, and Horace Heidt; he returned to New Orleans in the 50's and became a French Quarter fixture; in the 60's, Hirt played Las Vegas, ran a popular Bourbon Street jazz club, played for John F. Kennedy's inauguration, starred at Carnegie Hall, headlined numerous TV variety shows, and recorded a string of pop hits, including "Cotton Candy" and the Grammy-winning "Java"; in his latter years, Hirt played for Pope John Paul II during the pontiff's 1987 visit to New Orleans, performed at Farm Aid VII, and toured with long time associate Pete Fountain and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

1940 Late blues guitarist Phil Guy was born in Lettsworth, LA in 1940; Phil was the younger brother of blues giant Buddy Guy; he worked with Raful Neal before moving to Chicago in 1969, and he recorded with Memphis Slim, Junior Wells, Jimmy Dawkins; Phil also appeared on several of Buddy's albums
1965 Shreveport, LA native Bettye Swann appeared on the ABC music series Shindig! on this day in 1965 (she performed "The Man Who Got Away").
1984 Harmonica player Moses "Whispering" Smith passed away in Baton Rouge, LA in 1984 at age 62; Smith, a native of West Brookhaven, MS, moved to Baton Rouge in 1957, backing up Lightnin' Slim and Silas Hogan before recording on his own for Crowley, LA producer J.D. Miller; he toured Europe with Lightnin' Slim (see photo) in 1972 and 1973
1989 The 20th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opened in 1989; performers on this day included Robert Parker, Ricky Skaggs, John Hiatt, Bobby Marchan, Papa Cairo, Teddy Riley and Dash Rip Rock.
1995 The 26th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicked off in 1995; headliners included Dr. John, Los Lobos, and Peter, Paul & Mary.
1995 The 31st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opened in 2000; artists performing on this day included Dr. John, Allman Brothers Band, Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Ironing Board Sam and The Bluebirds.
2011 The New Orleans City Council passed Ordinance No. 28411, to officially name and dedicate Congo Square in honor of the 18th century gatherings of enslaved Africans and free people of color that took place in the square located inside what is today known as Armstrong Park. See more on Congo Square.
2011 Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas sang the National Anthem prior to the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoff game at the New Orleans Arena (Hornets lost 80-98, eliminating them from the playoffs)

1958 Singer, songwriter, musician, and leader of the Cajun rock band Mamou Steve LaFleur was born (Stephen Craig LaFleur) on April 29, 1958 in Mamou, Louisiana. LaFleur passed away in Eunice, LA on August 9, 2020 at age 62.
1962 Jerry Lee Lewis launched his second tour of the U.K. on this day in 1962; his first tour in 1958 ended in an uproar when the British media discovered he was married to his 13-year-old cousin.
1970 Rapper Master P (real name Percy Robert Miller) was born in New Orleans in 1967; Master P founded No Limit Records in 1990 and parlayed it into a multi-million dollar music, film, and sports conglomerate.
1983 The 14th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opened in 1983; performers on this day included the Edward Frank, Kid Sheik and his Storyville Ramblers, and Freeman & Canray Fontenot; that evening, the Riverboat President presented "A Southern Night", featuring Allen Toussaint, Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe and Tommy Ridgley.
1992 Harry Connick, Jr. appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1992. Harry performed "Blue Light, Red Light" and also chatted with Carson

1887 Clarinetist and jazz pioneer Lawrence Duhé was born in LaPlace, LA in 1887; Duhe worked with Kid Ory in LaPlace, and moved to New Orleans with Ory's band in 1913; he left Ory in 1917 to lead Sugar Johnny's Creole Orchestra in Chicago, which at various times featured Sidney Bechet, Mutt Carey, Freddie Keppard, Lil Hardin, and Joe "King" Oliver (who eventually took over Duhe's band and formed King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band); Duhe returned to Louisiana in 1919 and worked with Evan Thomas's Black Eagles band; he also fronted his own band at the Four Corners in Lafayette for many years
1899 Late drummer Earl Crumb was born in New Orleans in 1899; Crumb recorded with the New Orleans Owls in the 1920's
1917 Late blues guitarist and vocalist Frankie Lee Sims was born in New Orleans in 1917; Sims was the cousin of blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins
1925 Honky tonk legend Johnny Horton was born in Los Angeles in 1925; Horton moved to Shreveport, LA in 1951 and became a regular on the Louisiana Hayride radio show; he remained a resident of Shreveport until his untimely death in 1960; in an interesting bit of trivia, Horton's last gig was at the Skyline in Austin, Texas - the same place where Hank Williams last performed before his death; at the time of Horton's passing, he was married to Shreveport native, Billie Jean Jones, the widow of Hank Williams
1930 Late R&B vocalist Bobby Marchan was born (Oscar James Gibson) in Youngstown, Ohio in 1930; Marchan moved to New Orleans in 1954, working with a troup of female impersonators; he was later with Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns and sang on hits such as "Rockin' Pneumonia", "Don't You Just Know It" and "High Blood Pressure"; as a solo artist, Marchan had national R&B hits with "There's Something On Your Mind (Part 2)" (reached #1 in 1960), and "Shake Your Tambourine" (#14 in 1966)
1958 Louis Armstrong and the Dukes of Dixieland appeared on TV's "I've Got A Secret" in 1958. They were promoting their appearance on the Timex All-Star Jazz Show which aired immediately following "I've Got A Secret."
1998 New Orleans R&B legend Johnny Adams was among the performers at the 19th Annual W.C. Handy Awards held in Memphis in 1998 - On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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