- On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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

1908 Late trombone player Henderson Chambers was born in Alexandria, LA in 1908; Chambers worked with Louis Armstrong (1941-43), Edmond Hall, Duke Ellington, Doc Cheatham, Count Basie, and many others.
1930 Late blues harmonica legend Little Walter was born (Marion Walter Jacobs) in Marksville, LA in 1930.
1961 "I'm a Fool to Care" by swamp pop singer Joe Barry entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1961; it went on to reach the No. 15 position.
1967 Country music giant Tim McGraw was born in Delhi, LA in 1967
1997 Irma Thomas and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown were among the winners at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards on this day in 1997.
1998 Lucinda Williams and the Mahogany Brass Band were among the performers at "Folkways At 50: The Anniversary Concert" held at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1998; the event was in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the historic Folkways record label.

1902 Late trad jazz drummer Emile Knox was born in New Orleans in 1902; Knox was a longtime member of the Young Tuxedo Brass Band.
1918 Late trad jazz clarinet and sax player Manuel "Manny" Crusto (with Fats Pichon, Dejan's Olympia Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Heritage Hall Jazz Band, and others) was born in New Orleans in 1918.
1914 Pioneering bass player Frank Fields was born in Plaquemine, LA in 1914; Fields helped define the "New Orleans Sound" of the 1950's as a member of Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios house band; he performed on hits by Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Smiley Lewis, Shirley & Lee, Lloyd Price, Huey "Piano" Smith, and many others; Fields passed away in 2005.
1941 Singer and pianist Betty Ann Lastie was born in New Orleans in 1941; Betty is the daughter of late drummer "Deacon" Frank Lastie, and mother of drummer Herlin Riley.
1957 Elvis Presley recorded "Jailhouse Rock" at MGM Sound Studio in Culver City, CA in 1957; the track featured Shreveport, LA native D.J. Fontana on drums.
1964 "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1964; it eventually reached No. 1 during it's 13 week run on the chart.
1992 Drummer, pianist and vibraphonist Godfrey Hirsch passed away in New Orleans in 1992 at the age of 85; Hirsch once toured with Louis Prima and was a longtime member of Pete Fountain's band; his lone solo album, 1964's "Godfrey Hirsch at Pete's Place" (CRL 57475), is out of print

1930 Pianist, composer, arranger, and music educator Willie Metcalf, Jr. was born in Chicago in 1930; Metcalf, who moved to New Orleans in 1975, taught many local musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison; Metcalf passed away in 2004.
1994 Tuxedo Brass Band and Onward Brass Band drummer (and noted plastere) Milford "Stack" Dolliole passed away in New Orleans in 1994 at the age of 90; when asked how he would like to be remembered, Mr. Dolliole humbly replied, "I would";; Dolliole was featured in the video "Baby Dodds: New Orleans Drumming."
1995 The Neville Brothers, The Dixie Cups, Allen Toussaint and Professor Longhair were inducted into the New Orleans Musical Walk of Fame; the walk is located at 738 Camp Street, the site of Cosimo Matassa's old "Jazz City" recording studio.
1997 After a two year hiatus from public performances, Fats Domino appeared at the 1997 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
2008 Lil Wayne scored his first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper with "Lollipop" in 2008. The rap superstar had made 20 appearances on the chart since 1999 (including collaborations). His previous best as lead artist was with "Go DJ," which peaked at #14 in 2004. "Lollipop" held the top spot for 4 straight weeks..

1959 The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles in 1959; winners at the event included Van Cliburn (Best Classical Performance, Instrumental) and Louis Prima & Keely Smith (Best Performance By Vocal Group or Chorus) for "That Old Black Magic"
1976 Noted trombone great and bandleader Jim Robinson passed away in New Orleans in 1976 at age 83; Robinson had long associations with George Lewis and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; he was a featured performer at the 1969 Jazz & Heritage Festival.
1999 Members of the rock group Toto, including vocalist and Vinton, Louisiana native Bobby Kimball were inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk in 1999
2010 Pioneering Zydeco accordionist and bandleader Roy Carrier passed away in Opelousas, Louisiana in 2010 at age 63.

1901 Legendary drummer and bandleader Paul Barbarin was born in New Orleans in 1901; Barbarin's musical family included father Isadore (leader of the Onward Brass Band), brother Louis (also a drummer), and nephew Danny Barker; Barbarin played with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Red Allen, and others; he also composed the trad jazz classics "Bourbon Street Parade" and "Second Line"; Barbarin died of a heart attack in 1969, doing what he loved most ... playing snare drum in a street parade
1922 Musician, songwriter, and record producer J. D. Miller was born in Iota, LA in 1922; Miller produced many swamp blues legends (including Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim, Lazy Lester, Silas Hogan, Moses "Whispering" Smith, and Lonesome Sundown) for Excello Records at his studio in Crowley, LA in the 50's; he also wrote the country hit "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."
1935 Avant-garde jazz saxophonist and music educator Edward "Kidd" Jordan was born in Crowley, Louisiana in 1935.
1968 Banjo and guitar player George Guesnon passed away in New Orleans in 1968 at the age of 61.
1987 Canadian rocker Bryan Adams opened his 1987 North American concert tour for the "Into the Fire" album in Shreveport, LA
1997 Gracie Katherine McGraw was born to country couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in 1997 (Gracie weighed 4 lbs. 14 oz. and was 18 inches long at birth)
1999 Delhi, LA native Tim McGraw picked up two awards at the 34th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards held in Los Angeles in 1999; McGraw was named Best Male Vocalist, and shared the award for Top Vocal Event with his wife, Faith Hill
2001 Zydeco music pioneer Boozoo Chavis passed away in 2001 at age 70 after suffering a stroke and heart attack while on the road in Austin, Texas; Boozoo recorded the first Zydeco hit, "Paper in My Shoe," in 1954. He received a National Heritage Fellowship (posthumously) from the NEA in 2001; read more.
2010 Dubuisson, Louisiana native Lonnie Brooks was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in Memphis, TN in 2010.

1933 Late great R&B vocalist Oliver Morgan was born in New Orleans in 1933; his 1964 hit "Who Shot The LaLa" (penned by Eddie Bo) is still a staple on jukeboxes around the city; read more.
1993 IRS agents seized possessions from the Mississippi home of Jerry Lee Lewis in 1993 for failing to pay more than 1.6 million dollars in overdue taxes
1996 Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville performed for President and Mrs. Clinton on the White House South Lawn in 1996; the concert was taped and aired as a PBS special ("In Performance At The White House") on 07/03/96
1997 Ahmet Ertegun payed tribute to late Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson as she was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (as an early influence) in 1997; the singer's family declined to attend the event, not wanting Jackson's name associated with rock & roll
2007 Jazz clarinetist, composer and educator Alvin Batiste passed away in New Orleans in 2007 at age 74. Batiste performed with Ed Blackwell, Ornette Coleman, American Jazz Quintet, the New Orleans Philharmonic, and Wynton Marsalis, among many others. His students at Southern University, and later the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, included Randy Jackson, Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Henry Butler, Herlin Riley, Wessell Anderson, Maurice Brown, Conun Pappas, Joe Dyson, Max Moran, and Khris Royal.
2009 New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in Memphis, TN in 2009.

1927 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven recorded "Willie The Weeper" and "Wild Man Blues" for the Okeh label in Chicago in 1927; the band line-up included Johnny St. Cyr, Johnny Dodds and Baby Dodds.
1955 Late rockabilly singer and New Orleans native Werly Fairburn (aka The Singing Barber) joined the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1955
1958 Classical pianist Van Cliburn (born Harvey Lavan Cliburn, Jr. in Shreveport, LA on 7/12/34) signed a recording contract with RCA Victor records in 1958
1991 Washboard pioneer Cleveland Chenier passed away in Lafayette, LA in 1991 at the age of 69; Cleveland was the brother of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, and was a member of Clifton's "Red Hot Louisiana Band"; the first frottoir (rubboard) with shoulder straps made of tin was created for Cleveland in 1946 by Willie Landry
1998 Blues and jazz songstress Blue Lu Barker (born Louise Dupont) passed away in New Orleans in 1998 at age 84; Blue Lu, the wife of noted jazz figure Danny Barker, was known for her risque novelty tunes, such as "Don't You Feel My Leg"

1829 Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans in 1829; Gottschalk was one of the most famous American composers of the 19th century; his works drew on elements of Creole, African American, French, Caribbean, and Southern U.S. culture; Gottschalk performed to acclaim throughout the world and was hailed as a "titan" of the keyboard. He was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a commemorative stamp in 1997.
1925 Late blues guitarist and vocalist Luke "Long Gone" Miles was born in Lachute, Louisiana in 1925
1941 Vocalist and songwriter John Fred was born (John Fred Gourrier) in Baton Rouge, LA in 1941; John Fred & the Playboys had a #1 hit in 1968 with the pop classic "Judy in Disguise". Gourrier passed away in 2005 at age 63.
1972 "Hello Walls" by late country music legend Faron Young hit #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1961; the tune, penned by Willie Nelson, was one of Young's biggest hits during his lengthy career (over 80 tracks in the charts from 1953 - 1989); "Hello Walls" was also a crossover success for Young, ultimately reaching #12 on the Pop chart
1988 New Orleans born Dixieland banjo player and guitarist Nappy Lamare passed away in Newhall, CA in 1988 at age 80; known for his humorous novelty vocals, Lamare worked with Monk Hazel, Sharkey Bonano, Bob Crosby's Bobcats, Eddie Miller, Jack Teagarden and others
1997 Guitarist Tim Guarisco passed away in 1997 at age 28 after a two year battle with cancer; the Morgan City native was a founding member of funk band Smilin' Myron.

1899 Late clarinet and sax player Edward Pollock (aka Eddie Pollack) was born in New Orleans in 1899; Pollock worked with Erskine Tate, Jimmie Noone, Ma Rainey and others; he led his own band in Chicago during the 40's before retiring from music
1927 Louis Armstrong & His Stompers recorded "Chicago Breakdown" in Chicago for the Columbia label in 1927; this was Armstrong's first recording as leader of a big band
1944 Late country singer, songwriter and Hall of Fame member Jimmie Davis became governor of Louisiana for the first time in 1944 (he also served from 1960-64); writer of the country classic "You Are My Sunshine", Davis continued to record and scored five Top 10 singles during his first term
1960 Clarinet legend Pete Fountain's album "Pete Fountain Day" (Coral 57313) entered the Top 40 Albums chart in 1960
1964 Louis Armstrong's classic "Hello, Dolly!" reached #1 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1964. "Dolly" dislodged The Beatles, who had held the top spot for the previous 14 weeks. In doing so, Satchmo became the oldest person (at age 63) to ever have a #1 one song.
1974 Jazz drummer Johnny Linton Jacquet passed away in Los Angeles in 1974 at age 63; Linton was the brother of musicians Russell, Julius and Illinois Jacquet (read more on the Jacquet family).
2007 Dave Bartholomew and Dr. John were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the 2007 Blues Music Awards held in Memphis, TN.

MAY 10
1903 Late blues songstress Ann Cook was born in St. Francisville, Louisiana in 1903, Cook recorded "Mama Cookie" and "He's the Sweetest Black Man In Town" for Victor Orthophonic Records in New Orleans on July 3, 1927 (backed by Louis Dumaine's band). Her recordings can be found on the albums "Sizzling the Blues," "New Orleans Blues 1923-1940," and "Jazzin' the Blues Vol. 5 (1930 - 1953)." Read more on Cook here.
1921 Late Zydeco washboard pioneer Cleveland Chenier was born in Opelousas, LA in 1921; Cleveland was the brother of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, and was a member of Clifton's "Red Hot Louisiana Band"; the first frottoir (rubboard) with shoulder straps made of tin was created for Cleveland in 1946 by Willie Landry
1924 Late trumpeter and band leader Teddy Riley was born in New Orleans in 1924; the influential trumpeter worked with a number of brass bands, and led Roy Brown's "Mighty Mighty Men", from 1947 to 1954; in later years, he was featured on recordings by Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis; his father Amos Riley (1879-1925) was also a noted trumpeter and band leader; watch Teddy Riley video clips.
1935 Late R&R singer and songwriter Larry Williams was born in New Orleans in 1935; Willams' compositions included "Bony Maroney", "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" and "Slow Down".
1947 Zydeco accordionist Thomas "Big Hat" Fields was born in Rayne, LA in 1947.
1970 New Orleans-born blues guitarist Frankie Lee Sims passed away in Dallas, TX in 1970 at age 53
1986 New Orleans-born drummer Charles "Hungry" Williams passed away in New York City in 1986 at age 51; Williams, a prolific sideman, worked with bands led by Dave Bartholomew, Paul Gayten, Tommy Ridgley, and many others
1993 Fire heavily damaged country singer Mickey Gilley's theater in Branson, MO in 1993
2006 Bobby Rush was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in Memphis, TN in 2006.

MAY 11
1885 Legendary cornet player, bandleader, composer and Louis Armstrong mentor Joseph "King" Oliver was born on the Saulsburg Plantation near Abend, LA in 1885 (Most sources say that Joe Oliver was born on a plantation in Abend, Louisiana on December 19, 1885)
1995 Buddy Guy, Dr. John, and Art Neville joined Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, and others at a concert in memory of Stevie Ray Vaughan in Austin, TX in 1995; "SRV Shuffle", from the resulting album, "Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan", won a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1997 Country singer Trace Adkins married former Arista Records publicist Rhonda Forlaw in Nashville in 1997.
1999 Twin rappers Kane & Abel (David and Daniel Garcia) pleaded not guilty to felony drug charges in a New Orleans courtroom in 1999; the two were indicted May 6th, accused of purchasing large quantities of cocaine from jailed drug dealer and convicted killer Richard Pena.
2000 Zydeco musician and bandleader Warren Ceasar passed away in Lafayette, LA in 2000 at the age of 48; Ceasar's first profesional gig was with Guitar Gable while still in his early teens; he later worked with Clifton Chenier (he played on Chenier's Grammy winner "I'm Here"), Isaac Hayes, Luther Ingram, Al Green, Lil' Bob and the Lollipops, Zachary Richard, and many others; recordings include an appearance on the live collection "Zydeco Shootout at El Sid O's" and his 1995 solo album, "Crowd Pleaser"

MAY 12
1952 Late blues harp legend Little Walter recorded "Juke" for Checker Records in Chicago in 1952; the song went on to top the R&B Chart for 8 weeks
1955 Singer and songwriter Kix Brooks was born (Leon Eric Brooks III) in Shreveport, LA in 1955; Kix was half of the multi-award winning country duo, Brooks & Dunn.
1964 The 6th annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles in 1964; winners at the event included Al Hirt (Best Performance By An Orchestra) for his million selling hit, "Java"; the tune, written by Allen Toussaint, was from the album "Honey In The Horn", which lost out in the Album of the Year category; other 1963 Grammy nominees included New Orleans Gospel artists Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Griffin.
1998 Alt-rockers Better Than Ezra were honored at the 46th Annual BMI Pop Awards in 1998; they won an award for the Kevin Griffin penned tune, "Desperately Wanting."
1999 Decatur Street music club Levon Helm's Classic American Cafe closed its doors in 1999 after less than 6 months in operation; founding partners in the venture included Levon Helm, Banu Gibson and Carmen Marotta

MAY 13
1938 Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra recorded "When the Saints Go Marching In" for Decca Records in New York in 1938; it's was Satchmo's first recording of the trad jazz standard; backing band members on the track included Henry "Red" Allen, Pops Foster and Paul Barbarin.
1971 Brass band trombonist Revert Andrews born in New Orleans in 1971.
1981 Noted Cajun accordionist and songwriter Nathan Abshire passed away in Basile, LA in 1981 at age 67; Abshire was featured in the video "Les Blues De Balfa"
1986 Hank Williams Jr.'s album "Greatest Hits Volume 2" was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1986

MAY 14
1897 Legendary jazz clarinetist and sax player Sidney Bechet was born in New Orleans in 1897
1898 Late jazz drummer and band leader Zutty Singleton (née Arthur James Singleton) was born in Bunkie, LA in 1898; working in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, Singleton's extensive resume included stints with Jimmie Noone, Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, and Sidney Bechet; in latter years, Singleton worked with Tony Parenti at Ryan's in New York (1963-69), and they performed together at the 1969 Jazz & Heritage Festival; he appeared in the films "Stormy Weather", "New Orleans", and "Turned-up Toes"
1928 Doo Wop vocalist Will "Dub" Jones was born in Shreveport, LA in 1928; Jones, a bass vocalist, recorded with The Cadets and The Jacks before joining future Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Coasters in 1958; he remained with The Coasters for 10 years, and was featured on many of their hits including "Yakety Yak", "Charlie Brown" (Jones delivered the classic line "Why's everybody always picking on me"), and "Along Came Jones".
1959 New Orleans born jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet passed away in Paris, France (on his birthday) in 1959 at age 62 (for more info see Bechet's autobiography "Treat It Gentle" and John Chilton's "Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz")
1966 The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie", written by Extension, Louisiana native Richard Berry, entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the ninth and last time in 1966; the garage rock classic peaked at #2 on the pop chart in 1963; visit for more info.

MAY 15
1901 Late trad jazz clarinetist Edmond Hall was born New Orleans in 1901; Edmond was the son of Onward Brass Band regular, Edward Hall; his first professional work was with Kid Thomas Valentine's band in Reserve, LA circa 1917
1906 Delta blues guitarist and vocalist "Uncle" Johnny Williams was born in Alexandria, LA in 1906; Williams moved to Chicago in 1938 and became a fixture on the Maxwell Street blues scene; he recorded Money Takin' Woman and Worried Man Blues for the Ora-Nelle label with his cousin Johnny Young in the late 40's; he was featured in the documentary "Cheat You Fair: The Story of Maxwell Street."
1931 Influential rock drummer D.J. Fontana (née Dominic Joseph Fontana) was born in Shreveport, LA in 1931; Fontana was Elvis Presley's drummer from 1955 to 1969; the two had met when Elvis first appeared on the Louisiana Hayride radio show on 10/16/54 (Fontana was the Hayride's house drummer at the time); he can be heard on Elvis classics such as "Heartbreak Hotel", "Jail House Rock", "Teddy Bear", "Hound Dog", "Love Me Tender", and "Blue Suede Shoes"; Fontana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
1947 Zydeco and blues accordionist, singer, and band leader Major Handy was born (Joseph Majay Handy) in St. Martinville, Louisiana in 1947. Handy played guitar with Rockin' Dopsie and Buckwheat Zydeco before switching to accordion and forming his own band. He was honored for his accordion skills at the 2011 Living Blues Awards.
1963 The 5th annual Grammy Awards ceremonies were held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles in 1963; winners included Mahalia Jackson, who took home her second straight Grammy in the Gospel Recording category for the album "Great Songs of Love and Faith"
1998 It was "New Orleans Night" on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1998; Dave flew in an audience from New Orleans for his CBS late night talk show, which included guests Mayor Marc Morial and the late Beau Jocque, who performed with his band, The Zydeco Hi-Rollers; the Top 10 list for the evening was Top 10 Nicknames for New Orleans.

MAY 16
1926 Guitarist, singer and songwriter Adolph Smith was born in New Orleans in 1926; Smith worked with 50's vocal group The Monitors, and penned many tunes for The Spiders.
1938 R&B singer Pervis Jackson was born in Monroe, Louisiana on May 16, 1938. Jackson was the bass singer with lengendary Detroit vocal group The Spinners. He was a co-founder of the group, formed in 1961, and remained with them up to his passing in 2008. Read more.
1964 "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups entered the Billboard Pop Chart in 1964; it later reached the No. 1 spot which it held for 3 consecutive weeks
1969 Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady was arrested for possession of marijuana at the Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans in 1969; he later received a 2 1/2 year suspended sentence
1979 Guitarist Roy Montrell passed away in Amsterdam in 1979 at age 51 (while on tour with Fats Domino); the New Orleans native was a prolific session player, working for the Specialty and Ace labels, and later for Allen Toussaint's studio band and the AFO (All For One) label; he was also a long time member and leader of Fats Domino's band
1980 Dr. George C. Nichopoulous (aka Dr. Nick) was indicated in Memphis, TN in 1980 on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and nine other patients
1994 Reeds player Himas "Flo" Anckle in 1994 (born 9/14/27) passed away in New Orleans in 1994 at age 67; Anckle started out with the Majestic Brass Band, but later made his living in R&B with the Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, The Isley Brothers, and others; he was also the co-author of the Carnival classic "Second Line, Part 2".
1999 "A Barn Raisin' for Eddie Bo" was held at the Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n Bowl in 1999; the benefit concert helped raise funds for R&B veteran Eddie Bo, who lost all of his possessions in a fire that destroyed his Tulane Ave. home on 3/17/99; performers at the event included Snooks Eaglin, Tommy Ridgley, Ernie K-Doe, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Davell Crawford, and Jon Cleary

MAY 17
1925 Upright bassist Peter "Chuck" Badie was born in New Orleans in 1925; the prolific Badie has worked with Roy Brown, Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino, Big Joe Turner, Sam Cooke, and many others
1944 Noted singer and songwriter Jesse Winchester was born in Shreveport, LA in 1944
1947 Louis Armstrong performed with a small band in a concert at New York's Town Hall in 1947; this setting gave birth to Louis Armstrong's All-Star band, the band he performed with for the rest of his career
1973 New Orleans drummer and vocalist Derrick Freeman was born in Houston, TX in 1973. Freeman has worked with Kermit Ruffins, Coolbone, All That, Cronk, and others. He also fronts his own band, Derrick Freeman's Smokers World.
1974 Frankie Ford (perfoming "Sea Cruise") and Shirley & Lee ("Let the Good Times Roll") were amonth the guests on NBC's late night music show "The Midnight Special" in 1974
1986 "Ain't Misbehavin'" (yes, the Fats Waller classic) by Shreveport native Hank Williams Jr. hit #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1986
1993 In 1993, the Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling that granted Hank Williams' illegitimate daughter Jett Williams partial rights to his music; the appeal was filed by Hank Williams Jr. and publisher Acuff-Rose
1995 Fats Domino was hospitalized in England in 1995 following a concert in Sheffield with Chuck Berry and Little Richard; Domino's promoter said he was suffering from a "serious infection" and needed to rest.
2001 New Orleans R&B legend Ernie K-Doe was among honorees at the 2001 Governor's Arts Awards, held at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge in 2001; K-Doe, who passed away 7 weeks later at age 65, received the Lifetime Achievement award

MAY 18
1892 Late trad jazz bassist and tuba player George "Pops" Foster was born in McCall, LA in 1892; Foster's lengthy career included stints with Fate Marable's group, Luis Russell, Louis Armstrong, and Earl Hines; his autobiography was published posthumously in 1971
1927 Olympia Brass Band bass drummer Nowell "Papa" Glass was born in New Orleans in 1927; his father, Booker T. Glass, was a also brass band drummer; Papa Glass passed away in April, 2001 at age 73
1928 Songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie was born in Rayland, KY in 1928; LaBostrie, who moved to New Orleans in her teens, is credited for the discovery of Johnny Adams (who recorded her composition "I Won't Cry"), cleaning up the originally bawdy lyrics of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti", and penning "You Can Have My Husband (But Please Don't Mess With My Man)" for Irma Thomas
1957 Brothers Rusty and Doug Kershaw appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in 1957
1959 "Personality" by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Lloyd Price entered the R&B Chart in 1959; it went on to reach #1 on the chart in June of '59
1961 Late piano player Floyd Cramer's rollickin' single, "On the Rebound", hit #1 on the U.K. "Top 40" chart on this day in 1961
1973 Jimmy Clanton (perfoming "Just a Dream") and Lloyd Price ("Personality" and "I'm Gonna Get Married") were amonth the guests on NBC's late night music show "The Midnight Special" in 1974
1985 "My Toot Toot" by Jean Knight entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1985; the crossover Zydeco classic was originally a hit for Rockin' Sidney Simien (who won a Grammy for his "My Toot Toot" album in 1985).
1990 Trad jazz piano player and vocalist Sing Miller passed away in New Orleans in 1990 at 75; in latter years, Miller was a fixture at Preservation Hall

MAY 19
1956 "I'm In Love Again" by Fats Domino reached #1 on the R&B Chart in 1956. It held onto the top spot for 9 weeks and remained on the chart for a total of 26 weeks.
1997 Noted Gospel vocalist Nolan Washington passed away in New Orleans in 1997 at age 65; Washington was a long-time member of The Zion Harmonizers, and the brother of Harmonizer's leader Sherman Washington.
1998 CD's released nationally on this day in 1998 included Brian Blades' "Brian Blade Fellowship", Anders Osborne's "Live at Tipitina's", Dave Bartholomew's "New Orleans Big Beat", and Louis Armstrong's "Best of the Decca Years, Vol 2."
2000 Steel guitar player and vocalist Jessie "Jay" Stutes passed away in Jennings, LA in 2000 at age of 66; Stutes wrote and performed on the 1961 Cleveland Crochet & The Hillbilly Ramblers hit "Sugar Bee" (the first Cajun song to enter the Billboard Hot 100); Stutes later worked with Blackie Forestier and the Cajun Aces.
2013 Country music star Trace Adkins was named the winner of NBC's 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' in 2013. Adkins raised a total of $1,554,072 for his charity, American Red Cross, during the reality show's sixth season.

MAY 20
1900 Early Cajun accordionist Angelais Lejeune was born in Church Point, LA in 1900; Lejeune was a popular entertainer at fais do-do's in the 1920's; he was the uncle of noted accordionist Iry Lejeune.
1959 New Orleans based singer and songwriter Susan Cowsill was born (Susan Claire Cowsill) in Canton, Ohio in 1959.
1977 Shreveport born blues guitarist Lafayette Thomas passed away in Brisbane, CA in 1977 at age 48.
1978 "After All the Good Is Gone" by Johnny Adams entered the Billboard R&B Chart on this day in 1978
1993 Swamp blues man Clarence Edwards passed away in Baton Rouge, LA in 1993 at age 60.
1998 Harry Connick Jr. appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell show in 1998; Harry was there to promote the film "Hope Floats."
2000 The 504 Boyz album "Goodfellas" debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #2 on the Pop Chart in 2000. The album featured No Limit records' artists including Master P, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder, Mac, Mystikal and Krazy.
2000 Opelousas, LA celebrated it's designation as "Zydeco Music Capital of the World" in 2000; the street party included performances by Opelousas bands Lil' Pookie & The Zydeco Heartbreakers and Zydeco Force.

MAY 21
1966 "Barefootin'" by Robert Parker entered the Billboard Top 40 chart in 1966; it peaked at No. 7 and remained on the chart for 9 weeks.
1994 Tim McGraw's album "Not A Moment Too Soon" topped both the Billboard 200 Albums chart and the Billboard Country Album chart in 1994; it remained at No. 1 on the country chart for 26 consecutive weeks, and it was the top selling country album of 1994
1998 New Orleans music legends Ernie K-Doe and Frankie Ford were featured guests on local TV show Louisiana Jukebox in 1998; Cowboy Mouth's Fred LeBlanc served as guest host.

MAY 22
1891 Late trombonist Eddie Edwards was born in New Orleans in 1891; Edwards was a founding member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band; he co-wrote the trad jazz classics "Tiger Rag" and "Fidgety Feet"
1948 "Tomorrow Night" by Lonnie Johnson reached #1 on the R&B Chart in 1948; it remained atop the chart for 7 weeks, and it became Johnson's theme song
1954 "Cry, Cry, Darling" by Jimmy C. Newman entered the Billboard Country Chart in 1954; it eventually reached the No. 5 position
1955 Police in Bridgeport, CT canceled a dance scheduled to be held at the Ritz ballroom and headlined by Fats Domino in 1955; authorities found out that "rock and roll dances might be featured" and justified their action by referring to "a recent near riot at the New Haven Arena," where rock & roll dances were featured
1958 Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis announced his marriage to his 13-year-old second cousin, Myra, as he arrived in London in 1958 to begin his first British tour; the public's shock over his marriage caused Lewis to be booed off stage and forced the cancellation of all but 3 of the 37 scheduled concerts on the tour; it would take years for Lewis's career to recover from the controversy
1961 "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe reached #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1961; Allen Toussaint wrote and produced the tune, which featured Benny Spellman on backing vocals
1992 Five members of the rap group N.W.A. were arrested and charged with inciting to riot after a fight broke out in the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans in 1992; police on horseback were brought into the lobby to control the fighting, which involved about 50 people; police said the battle started when some of the rappers and their entourage were denied entry to the hotel because they didn't have passes
1998 Harry Connick Jr. appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" in 1998.
1999 Branford Marsalis was featured in a segment of "CBS News Saturday Morning" in 1999
1999 Country crooner Tim McGraw's fifth album "A Place in the Sun" debuted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 Albums chart and the Billboard Country Albums chart in 1999; the album sold more than 250,000 copies in it's first week of release

MAY 23
1922 Late record producer and label owner Robert "Bumps" Blackwell was born in Seattle, WA in 1922; Blackwell was sent to New Orleans by Specialty Records owner Art Rupe in September, 1955 to record Little Richard at Cosimo Matassa's studio; the sessions produced the R&R classic "Tutti Frutti"; Blackwell also produced tracks by Guitar Slim, Art Neville, Larry Williams, and many others.
1928 Clarence Williams' Washboard 5 recorded "Shake It Down" and "Red River Blues" for the Okeh label in New York in 1928; band members included New Orleans cornet legend Joseph "King" Oliver.
1956 Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars, visiting the Gold Coast in 1956, performed before an estimated 100,000 fans at an an open air concert in Accra; this was the first concert of Armstrong's 3 day visit to the African west coast; a CBS crew accompanied Satchmo on the tour, and highlights later aired in Edward R. Murrow's documentary, "Satchmo The Great"
1964 Louis Armstrong's album "Hello, Dolly" entered the Billboard Top 40 Albums chart in 1964; it later topped the chart for 6 weeks, and it remained in the Top 40 for 48 weeks (Satchmo's only other Top 40 album chart entries were "Satch Plays Fats" (in 1955) and "Ella and Louis" (in 1956).
1988 Noted tenor sax and banjo player Emanuel Paul passed away in New Orleans in 1988 at age 84; Paul was a long time member of the Eureka Brass Band

MAY 24
1880 Clarinetist Willie Humphrey, Sr. was born in New Orleans in 1880; he was the son of trumpeter and music teacher Professor Jim Humphrey, and father of musicians Percy Humphrey (trumpet), Earl Humphrey (trombone), and Willie Humphrey, Jr. (clarinet); Willie Sr. passed away on January 8, 1964
1937 Central Louisiana blues man B.B. Major was born (Image Helaire, Jr.) in Cane River, Louisiana in 1937.
1975 "Cry Cry Cry" by Shirley & Company (led by Shirley Goodman, formerly with New Orleans duo Shirley & Lee) entered the R&B Chart in 1975; it was the followup to their #1 hit, "Shame, Shame, Shame"
1985 Noted clarinet and sax player Joe Darensbourg passed away in Van Nuys, CA in 1985 at age 78; the Baton Rouge native studied under Manuel Roque and Alphonse Picou, and worked with Mutt Carey, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, and many others; his autobiography, "Jazz Odyssey", was published posthumously in 1988
1989 Singer/songwriter Lelia Broussard was born in Lafayette, LA in 1989.
1999 Britney Spears' debut album "Baby, One More Time" was certified 4 x Platinum by the RIAA in 1999; it has since topped over 13 million copies in sales.
2001 The 22nd Annual W.C. Handy Awards were handed out in Memphis in 2001; winners included R&B diva Irma Thomas for "Soul/Blues Album of the Year" ("My Heart's In Memphis: The Songs of Dan Penn") and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown for "Instrumentalist of the Year - Other" (fiddle).

MAY 25
1907 Noted banjo and guitar player "Creole" George Guesnon was born in New Orleans in 1907; Guesnon worked with Sam Morgan's band early in his career; he also worked with George Lewis and Jim Robinson, among others; in his latter years, Guesnon was a regular at Preservation Hall
1912 Late blues man James Crutchfield was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1912; Crutchfield grew up in lumber camps in Louisiana and Texas; he picked up a few licks from Little Brother Montgomery in Bogaulusa, and played with Elmore James and Boyd Gilmore in Mississippi before settling in St. Louis in 1948; Crutchfield was still active on the St. Louis blues scene at the time of his passing in 2001
1936 Late R&B vocalist Donnie Elbert was born in New Orleans in 1936.
1957 Fats Domino and his band (including Dave Bartholomew and Cornelius "Tenoo" Coleman) appeared on NBC's "The Perry Como Show" in 1957. Watch Fats perform ("It's You I Love" and "I'm Walkin'") and chat with Perry below:

1959 The soundtrack album "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!" by Louis Prima & Keely Smith entered the Top 40 Albums chart in 1959; the album included 10 tunes from the film, which starred Prima, Smith and Sam Butera.
1973 Dr. John appeared on the NBC music series "The Midnight Special" in 1973; the doctor performed his hits, "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such a Night."
1981 R&B legend Roy Brown passed away in Los Angeles in 1981 at age 55; the New Orleans native racked up 14 R&B hits between 1948 and 1951, including two that reached the #1 spot -- "'Long About Midnight" and "Hard Luck Blues"; Brown's classic "Good Rockin' Tonight" was a #1 R&B hit for Wynonie Harris in 1948, and was later covered by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, James Brown, and a host of others
1992 "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" premiered on NBC on this day in 1992; Jay's musical director & bandleader was New Orleans jazz great Branford Marsalis; the band included Kenny Kirkland, Robert Hurst, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Matt Finders, Sal Marquez and Kevin Eubanks (who took over for Branford when he quit in 1995).
1999 Classics: CD's released nationally on this day in 1999 included the Dirty Dozen's "Buck Jump" and the Lonnie Brooks - Long John Hunter - Phillip Walker collaboration "Lone Star Shootout"
2000 Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was a winner at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards ("Blues Instrumentalist - Other" category); performers at the event included piano man Henry Butler.

MAY 26
1925 Louis Armstrong recorded "Nashville Woman's Blues" and "Careless Love Blues" with blues diva Bessie Smith for the Columbia label in New York in 1925
1942 Lionel Hampton's band recorded "Flying Home" for Decca Records in 1942; the sax break, by Broussard, LA native Illinois Jacquet, is considered the first R&B sax solo, and it spawned a generation of younger tenor sax players
1949 Country music giant Hank Williams Jr. was born in Shreveport, LA in 1949; Williams won back-to-back CMA Entertainer of the Year awards in 1987 & 1988
???? Noted guitar and banjo player Carl LeBlanc was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1958 Four days after his arrival in Britain in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis played the third and last gig of what should have been a 37-date tour; The London Morning Star ran an editorial calling Lewis "an undesirable alien" and calls for his deportation (this after he announced his marriage to his 13-year-old second cousin, Myra); that night, Lewis was booed from the stage and he returned to the U.S. the following day
1992 The debut album by Brooks & Dunn, "Brand New Man", was certified gold in 1992; Kix Brooks hails from Shreveport, LA
1995 17 year old trombonist of the all-youth "All Stars Brass Band" Darnell "D-Boy" Andrews was murdered in the Lafitte housing project in New Orleans in 1995; Darnell, age 17 at the time of his death, was the brother of musicians James Andrews and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews; the New Birth Brass Band dedicated their 1997 album "D-Boy" to his memory

MAY 27
1900 Late trad jazz clarinetist and bandleader Albert Nicholas was born in New Orleans in 1900
1900 Late traditional jazz bassist Chester Zardis was born in New Orleans in 1900; as a youngster, Zardis played with Louis Armstrong in the Colored Waif's Home band; his early work included stints with Kid Rena, Buddy Petit, Chris Kelly, Jack Carey, Fats Pichon, Bunk Johnson, and others; he was later a fixture at Preservation Hall for over a quarter of a century; he was featured in the 1989 documentary "Chester Zardis: The Spirit of New Orleans", which was filmed shortly before his death
1925 Louis Armstrong recorded "J.C. Holmes Blues" and "I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle" with blues diva Bessie Smith for the Columbia label in New York in 1925
1940 Louis Armstrong and old colleagues Luis Russell, Sidney Bechet, and Zuttie Singleton are reunited at a recording session for the Decca label in New York in 1940; tracks included Armstrong's "Perdido Street Blues" and "Coal Cart Blues", and Buddy Bolden's "2:19 Blues"
1994 Country singer Tim McGraw's album "Not A Moment Too Soon" was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA in 1994; the album went on to be Billboard's best selling country album of 1994 and was also named ACM Album of the Year (it has sold 5+ million total copies)
1996 Trad jazz clarinet, sax, and trumpet player Albert "Pud" Brown passed away in New Orleans in 1996 at age 71; for more on Pud, see
1999 The 20th Annual W.C. Handy Awards were handed out in Memphis in 1999; winners included Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and former New Orleans resident Keb' Mo'; performers included Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who payed a musical tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan; Homer, LA born blues man Bobby Rush gave a heart-felt memorial to blues greats Lowell Fulson, Charles Brown, and other pioneers of the genre who died in the previous year

MAY 28
1900 Noted trumpeter Tommy Ladnier was born in Florenceville, LA in 1900; Ladnier, who was taught by Bunk Johnson, worked with Fletcher Henderson, the New Orleans Footwarmers (which Ladnier co-founded with Sidney Bechet), and Mezz Mezzrow, among many others; Ladnier died from a heart attack at age 39 while staying with Mezzrow in New York
1926 Louis Armstrong recorded "Stomp Off, Let's Go " and "Static Strut" with Erskine Tate's Vendome Orchestra for the Columbia label in Chicago in 1926

MAY 29
1925 Louis Armstrong recorded "Sugar Foot Stomp" with Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra for the Columbia label in New York in 1925; the tune is actually a big band version of King Oliver's "Dippermouth Blues"
1961 "You Always Hurt the One You Love" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry entered the Billboard Top 40 and R&B Charts in 1961; it later peaked at No. 11 on the R&B chart and No. 12 on the Pop chart.
1962 The 4th annual Grammy Awards ceremonies were held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles in 1962; winners included Mahalia Jackson, who won in the Gospel Recording category for the album "Everytime I Feel The Spirit"; non-winning nominees this day included Chris Kenner (for "I Like It Like That"), Ernie K-Doe (for "Mother In Law"), Al Hirt (for "The Greatest Horn in the World"), and Faron Young (for "Hello Walls"); the soundtrack to "Paris Blues", featuring Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, was also nominated
1984 Trad jazz trombone player Santo Pecora passed away in New Orleans in 1984 at age 82; Pecora worked with Johnny De Droit and Leon Ropollo in New Orleans before stays in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles; after returning to New Orleans in the late 40's, he worked regularly with Sharkey Bonano, and had long residencies at The Dream Room and The Famous Door in the 1960's.
1997 The 1992 holiday album "Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas" was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1997.
1997 Eunice, LA based radio station KBON 101.1 FM first hit the airwaves in 1997; the "variety music station with a Louisiana flavor" is now also available to global listeners via the Internet.

MAY 30
1919 Gospel and R&B vocalist Joe Gaines was born in New Orleans in 1919; Gaines recorded with the The Humming Four, Fat Man Matthewss & The Four Kittens, The Hawks, as Little Joe Gaines, and others
1995 The 1994 Brooks & Dunn album "Waitin' On Sundown" was certified double platinum by the RIAA in 1995.
1999 Aaron Neville performed at the National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC in 1999.
1999 Country superstar Tim McGraw opened a concert for his wife, Faith Hill, at the Beacon Theater in New York City in 1999; McGraw's appearance was an unannounced surprise for those in attendance.
2000 Noted record producer Tom Ayres passed away at his Shreveport home in 2000 at age 67; Ayres worked for Hanna-Barbera, ABC Records, Columbia Records, United Artists, Kama Sutra Records, Buddha Records and RCA Records, among others; he was credited with boosting the careers of singer and songwriter Victoria Williams and rock superstar David Bowie.

MAY 31
2004 The TV special "Willie Nelson & Friends: Outlaws and Angels" aired on the USA network in 2004. The show, pretaped on May 5th in Los Angeles, featured Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Al Green, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, Toots Hibbert, Ben Harper, Joe Walsh, Los Lonely Boys, Lee Ann Womack, The Holmes Brothers, and more. The "house band" included Ivan Neville on keyboards
2005 Master fiddler, fiddle maker, teacher and Cajun cultural ambassador Leo Abshire passed away in 2005 at age 71. The in Kaplan, LA native performed with Joe Bonsall and the Orange Playboys for 20 years, and also worked with August Broussard, Milton Adams, Horace Trahan, D.L. Menard, Eddie LeJeune, and Doug Kershaw. He appeared in the 1999 PBS special The Mississippi: River of Song and he was the subject of the award winning documentary "It's In the Blood: Leo Abshire & the Cajun Tradition." - On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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