- On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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

1975 The Rolling Stones kicked off their "Tour of the Americas" with 2 shows at LSU Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, LA in 1975. Guitarist Ron Wood, making his concert debut with the Stones, celebrated his 28th birthday on this day. See the concert set list.
1999 Country music star Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn fame) began a 5 day trip aboard a Sea-Doo in 1999 to raise funds for St. Judes Children's Hospital in Memphis. The aquatic benefit took Brooks from Nashville to New Orleans.
1999 Harry Connick Jr.'s critically acclaimed "Come By Me" album was released in 1999. Harry also appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell show on this day in 1999, performing the album's title tune with his big band.

1938 Cajun fiddle legend and CFMA Hall of Fame inductee Tony Thibodeaux was born near Rayne, LA in 1938. Thibodeaux performed with Adam Maitre, Walter Mouton, Aldus Roger and the Lafayette Playboys, Belton Richard, Rufus Thibodeaux, and others. He passed away in 2010 at age 72.
1958 "You'll Come Back" by honky tonk star Webb Pierce entered the Billboard Country Chart in 1958; the tune later peaked at #10
1970 Jazz guitarist Todd Duke (with Wardell Quezergue, Leroy Jones, John Boutte, Hot Club of New Orleans, and many others) was born in New Orleans
1997 Trad jazz trumpet legend Doc Cheatham (born Adolphus Anthony Cheatham) passed away in Washington D.C. in 1997 at age 91; at the time of his death, he was on tour with New Orleans trumpet great Nicholas Payton; the two had also collaborated in 1996 on the album "Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton", which made the Billboard Jazz Chart and also won a Grammy for the song "Stardust"; Doc's career began in the early 1920's backing Bessie Smith, and he once subbed for his idol Louis Armstrong. He also worked with Ma Rainey, Cab Calloway, Billy Holiday, Benny Goodman, and many others

1888 Late trad jazz trombone great Tom Brown was born in New Orleans in 1888; Brown played with Papa Jack Laine before forming his own band and moving to Chicago in 1915 to perform at Lamb's Cafe; back in Louisiana in the 20's, Brown continued to work regularly, often playing string bass; he recorded with Johnny Bayersdorffer, Norman Brownlee, Johnny Wiggs, and others; Brown passed away on March 25, 1958
1897 Late blues artist Memphis Minnie (nee Lizzie Douglas) was born in Algiers, LA in 1897. Douglas learned to play the guitar at age 11. She was raised in Mississippi, but ran away to become a street performer in Memphis and later worked in Chicago. Her songs have been covered by the likes of Clifton Chenier, Led Zeppelin, Corey Harris, Rockin' Dopsie, and Lucinda Williams. Her life was documented in the book "Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues."
1949 Country music legend Hank Williams made his last regular appearance on the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1949; Williams briefly returned to the Hayride in 1952 after being fired from the Grand Ole Opry
2000 Country stars Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and their manager were arrested in Orchard Park, NY in 2000 after Chesney rode off on a sheriff's horse and all three subsequently scuffled with police; the three were later acquitted of all charges
2001 A van carrying Troy "Dikki Du" Carrier and his band "The Zydeco Crew" was involved in a serious accident on I-10 near Bonifay, Florida in 2001. Drummer Bradley Guilbeau (age 39, from Carencro, LA) and guitarist Bobby Jackson (age 46, from Crowley, LA) were killed in the crash. The five other van occupants were hospitalized with various injuries.
2009 Legendary tenor sax man Sam Butera passed away in Las Vegas in 2009 at 81. The New Orleans native was noted for his 21 year stint leading the backup band for trumpeter Louis Prima. After Prima fell into a coma in 1975, Butera continued performing and touring the world until retiring in 2004. He released several solo albums, and also recorded with Frank Sinatra (check out "Stargazer") and Sammy Davis Jr., among others. Read more about Sam here, here and here.
2011 New Orleans R&B vocalist Benny Spellman passed away in Pensacola, FL at age 79; Spellman reached #28 on the R&B chart with the 1962 Allen Toussaint-penned "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)" (Minit 644); the "A" side was "Fortune Teller", which was later covered by the Rolling Stones; Spellman can also be heard doing the bass vocals on the Ernie K-Doe classic "Mother-In-Law"

1911 The "Mayor of LaSalle Street", Frank Painia, was born in Plaquemine, LA in 1911. Painia founded the legendary New Orleans music club Dew Drop Inn in 1939. Known as the South's Swankiest Night Spot, the club featured virtually every major black entertainer in the country during it's heyday from 1945-70. The Dew Drop Inn also served as a training ground for local musical legends such as Tommy Ridgley, Earl King, Huey Smith and Allen Toussaint. The club closed in the late 1960's and Painia passed away after a lengthy illness in 1982.
1928 Late bandleader and bass player Lloyd Lambert was born in Thibodeaux, LA in 1928; Lambert led Guitar Slim's band in the 1950's; he recorded and performed with Ray Charles, Little Richard, Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham, Wallace Davenport, and many others. He was the grandfather of local blues musician Kipori Woods.
1939 Noted New Orleans trumpeter Tommy Ladnier passed away in New York in 1939 at age 39
1986 The first of a six date Conspiracy of Hope tour was held at Cow Palace in San Francisco; the benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International featured U2, Sting, Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, and The Neville Brothers.
1987 Gospel Soul Children founder Albert Hadley passed away in New Orleans in 1987 at age 37
1995 Tenor sax player Charles Burbank (with Lloyd Lambert, Tommy Ridgley, and others) passed away in New Orleans in 1995 at age 67
1999 Country star Tim McGraw and hundreds of his fans were overcome by the effects of pepper spray at a charity concert in Pontiac, Michigan in 1999; a woman in the crowd emptied a canister at an alleged groper, and the gas affected others after getting into the club's ventilation system.

1876 Ragtime piano legend Tony Jackson was born on Amelia Street in New Orleans in 1876; Jackson played in Storyville brothels before the turn of the century; he later worked in Kentucky before moving permanently to Chicago; Jackson, who was never recorded, wrote the classic "Pretty Baby"; other compositions include "Michigan Water Blues" and "The Naked Dance"; both popularized by Jelly Roll Morton in the late 30's
1953 Louis Armstrong began work on the film "The Glenn Miller Story" in 1953.
1957 "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins was released in 1957. The track, which also featured guitar great James Burton, reached #29 on the pop charts. The song returned to the charts eleven years later, covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival. (more)
1961 "I Like It Like That" by Chris Kenner entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1961; it went on to reach #2 on both the R&B and Pop charts, and was nominated for a Grammy (in the Best Rock & Roll Recording category).
1971 Cajun accordionist Lionel Cormier died of a heart attack in 1971 at age 58 while playing "Church Point Two-Step" at the Bamboo Club in Lake Charles, LA in 1971; Cormier co-founded The Sundown Playboys in the late 1940's. The band carries on today, led by his son Lesa Cormier.
1980 The film "Urban Cowboy", starring John Travolta, premiered in Houston in 1980. Much of the movie was shot in "Gilley's", the Pasadena, Texas honky tonk owned by Mickey Gilley. Gilley also appeared in the film, along with Johnny Lee, Charlie Daniels and Bonnie Raitt.
1991 Harry Connick Jr.'s 1988 album "20" was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1991. It has since reached Platinum status.

1904 Late clarinet player Raymond Burke was born in New Orleans in 1904; Burke had long stints with Blind Gilbert's Band in the 20's and Henry Walde's Melon Pickers in the 30's; he later worked with Sharkey Bonano, Johnny Wiggs, Alvin Alcorn, George Girard, and others; Burke was a regular at Preservation Hall in the 1970's and 80's
1936 Late harmonica player and blues progenitor Raful Neal was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1936. Neal picked up his first harp the day after catching Little Walter play at the Temple Room in Baton Rouge in 1954. His early backing bands included the likes of Buddy Guy and Lazy Lester. His last release was the 2001 Hoodoo Kings album, a collaboration with Eddie Bo and Tabby Thomas. Neal raised 10 children, many of whom have followed in his musical footsteps. He passed away in 2004 at age 68.
1943 Country music star Joe Stampley was born in Springhill, LA in 1943. Stampley first recorded for producer Dale Hawkins on Imperial in 1957; he was also a member of the popular 60's Louisiana rock group The Uniques, who had hits with "Not Too Long Ago" and "All These Things"; Joe's son, Shreveport native Tony Stampley, is also a talented singer and songwriter
1953 New Orleans guitarist June Yamagishi was born in Japan in 1953. June moved to New Orleans in 1995, and has since worked with the Wild Magnolias, Papa Grows Funk, The Trio (with Johnny Vidacovich & George Porter Jr.), 101 Runners, and many others.
1964 "Something You Got" by noted singer and session man Alvin Robinson entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1964. The tune was written by Chris Kenner and produced by Joe Jones.
1964 "Cotton Candy" by Al Hirt entered the Billboard Top 40 Albums Chart in 1964; it was nominated for the '64 "Album of the Year" Grammy, and it has sold over 500,000 copies
1964 "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1964. The tune was penned by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. It was originally intended to be the last song on the "Presenting The Ronettes" album, but Barry and Greenwich cut it with The Dixie Cups, despite Spector's objections. Chapel was the first track released on Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird record label. It remained at #1 for three weeks (and dislodged The Beatles' "Love Me Do" from the top spot).
1997 Tenor sax great Fred Kemp (Frederic Donald Kemp) passed away in New Orleans in 1997 at age 55; Kemp was a prolific session player and a long time member of Fats Domino's band; he ran Kemp's Bar & Lounge (with brother Dorn "Pappy" Kemp), where his jazz quartet often performed.

1916 Legendary folk artist Huddie Ledbetter, AKA Leadbelly, was arrested in DeKalb, TX in 1916 for homicide in the shooting death of Will Stafford, who was married to his cousin; using the alias Walter Boyd, Ledbetter was sentenced to 30 years hard labor; he was released on a pardon in 1925 after performing for the governor of Texas
1975 "Action Speaks Louder Than Words" by Chocolate Milk entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1975; it was the first of 11 R&B chart entries for the popular New Orleans funk group
1994 Clarinet great Willie Humphrey passed away in New Orleans in 1994 at age 93; Humphrey began playing with the Excelsior Brass Band while still in his teens; he most well known for his long tenure with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
1997 "It's Your Love", by Delhi, LA native Tim McGraw (featuring wife Faith Hill), hit #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1997; the tune topped the chart for 6 straight weeks (McGraw became the first artist in 20 years and the first artist since actual monitored airplay to hold at #1 for 6 weeks); "It's Your Love" was also the top country single of the year

1888 Trombonist Oscar "Chicken" Henry was born in New Orleans in 1888. Henry was known for his long association with the Eureka Brass Band. In his latter years he also performed at Preservation Hall. Henry recorded with Eureka in 1962 for the album "Jazz at Preservation Hall."
1907 Late piano player and vocalist Billie Pierce (née Wilhelmina Goodson) was born in Marianna, FL in 1907; Pierce accompanied several blues singers during the 1920's, before settling in New Orleans; she later gained international fame touring with her husband De De Pierce and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
1939 Late clarinet legend Sidney Bechet recorded his classic version of "Summertime" for the Blue Note label in 1939
2007 R&B vocalist, piano player and composer Nellie Lutcher passed away in Los Angeles in 2007. The Lake Charles, LA native had a string of Top 10 R&B hits in the late 1940's, including "Hurry On Down", "He's A Real Gone Guy", "The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)," "Fine Brown Frame," and "For You My Love" (a duet with Nat "King" Cole). She was the brother of sax player and vocalist Joe Lutcher.

1924 Jelly Roll Morton first recorded "Jelly Roll Blues", "Shreveport Stomp", and other classics for Gennett Records in Richmond, Indiana in 1924
1958 Jerry Lee Lewis took out a full page ad in Billboard Magazine in 1958, in response to the uproar over his marriage to 13-year-old Myra Gail Brown (who was a distant cousin).
1973 "In The Right Place" by Dr. John entered the Billboard Top 40 Albums Chart in 1973; it remained on the chart for 9 weeks, peaking at #24
2011 The Radiators performed the first of their final three concerts at Tipitina's in 2011.

1886 Late string bass and tuba player Chink Martin was born in New Orleans in 1886; Martin began his career with the Reliance Brass Band around 1910; he recorded in Chicago in 1923 with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings; after his return to New Orleans, Martin worked with the Halfway House Orchestra, New Orleans Harmony Kings, and the New Orleans Swing Kings; a busy session man, Martin later worked with Alvin Alcorn, George Girard, Sharkey Bonano, Santo Pecora, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, and others; he was also a regular at Preservation Hall
1894 Late trumpet player Ernest "Punch" Miller was born in Raceland, LA in 1894; Miller left New Orleans in the early 20's for long stints in Chicago and New York; after his return in 1956, he worked and toured with George Lewis and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Miller was the subject of the 1971 documentary "'Til The Butcher Cuts Him Down"
1898 Late piano player Octave Crosby was born in New Orleans in 1898; Crosby began playing with Herb Morand in the early 1920's, and was a fixture at the Paddock Lounge on Bourbon Street in the 50's; he was featured in Papa Celestin's 1950's Radio Broadcasts.
1921 Alto and tenor sax great Porter Kilbert was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1921; Kilbert worked with Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Red Saunders, Quincy Jones, and many others; Kilbert passed away in Chicago in 1960 at age 39
1928 Blues man "Schoolboy" Cleve White was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1928; White began playing the harmonica at age 6, and by the mid-1940's, was playing club dates around Baton Rouge; he later played with Lloyd Reynaud's band in Opelousas and with Lightnin' Slim, before starting his own band in the 50's; he began touring Louisiana on his own, and recorded one single ("Here I Go") for Ace Records before retiring
1940 R&B drummer Clarence Brown (AKA "Juny Boy") was born in New Orleans in 1940. Brown, who passed away in 2003, was a longtime member of Fats Domino's band. He also worked with The Hawketts, Willie Tee, Allen Toussaint and George French.
1947 Louis Armstrong and a small band consisting of Jack Teagarden, Bobby Hackett, Peanuts Hucko, Johnny Guarnieri, Al Hall, Al Casey, Cozy Cole, and Ernie Caceres recorded "Jack Armstrong Blues", "Rockin' Chair", "Some Day You'll Be Sorry", and "Fifty-Fifty Blues" at Victor studios in New York in 1947; this was the first recording of Satchmo's composition "Some Day"
1950 "Stack-A-Lee (Parts 1 & 2)" by pianist Archibald (born Leon T. Gross) entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1950
1957 "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1957; it later reached the No. 7 position
1961 Famed New Orleans jazz club Preservation Hall official opened on June 10, 1961. Performers on opening day included Kid Sheik Colar, George Lewis, Eddie Summers, Harrison Verrett, Alcide Slow Drag Pavageau and Alex Bigard.
1998 Popular French Quarter musician Johnnie Bachemin was found murdered in his Pauger Street apartment in 1998; a former dancer, Bachemin performed at clubs and theaters around the world; his TV credits included two appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show"; prior to his death, Bachemin, age 74, led his trio at the Mystick Den in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, a gig he had led since 1993
1998 The legendary team of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in New York City in 1998; both R&B pioneers are also members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
2007 New Orleans based jazz clarinetist and sax player Jacques Gauthe died in his sleep in 2007 while on tour in France. Gauthe was born in Gascony in the south of France. He moved to New Orleans in 1968 and became a regular on the local jazz scene (with Kid Thomas, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and others).
2011 The Radiators performed the second of their final three concerts at Tipitina's in 2011.

1928 King Oliver & His Dixie Syncopators recorded "Tin Roof Blues" and "West End Blues" for Vocalion Records in New York
1931 Blues songstress Bonnie Lee was born in Bunkie, Louisiana in 1931; the Texas raised blues singer sang in Church during the '30s and '40s; she toured with pianist Sunnyland Slim, and later worked regularly with Chicago guitarist Willie Kent. She passed away in Chicago in 2006.
1949 Louis Armstrong appeared on the NBC TV series "Eddie Condon Floor Show" in 1949
1955 "Ain't It A Shame" (aka "Ain't That A Shame") by Fats Domino hit #1 on the R&B Chart in 1955. The song, penned by the legendary team of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002, and it was included in Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" (Issue RS963).
1969 Drummer Eugene Jones (with Clarence "Frogman" Henry and others) passed away in New Orleans in 1969 at the age of 33.
2007 Noted Louisiana rock musician Chris Bennett, AKA Criss Drunk (with Mystic Fix, Southern Discomfort, LA Phantoms, Label 13, Manafold, and others) passed away in 2007 at age of 33. A documentary on his life - "Cajun Hell" - is due for release in 2012.
2011 The Radiators performed their final concert at Tipitina's in 2011.

1903 Cornet player Emmett Hardy was born in Gretna, LA in 1903; Hardy worked in New Orleans with Papa Laine's Band and Norman Brownlee's Orchestra; he also worked briefly with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings in Chicago; Hardy, who never recorded, died in New Orleans from tuberculosis at age 22
1939 New Orleans jazz clarinetist and sax player Jacques Gauthe was born in Gascony in the south of France in 1939; Gauthe moved to New Orleans in 1968 and became a regular on the local jazz scene (with Kid Thomas, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and others). Gauthe died in his sleep in 2007 while on tour in France
1948 The classic "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Roy Brown entered the R&B Chart in 1948.
1977 Blues guitar whiz Kenny Wayne Shepherd was born in Shreveport, LA in 1977
1998 Arranger and brass player Joe D'Gerolamo, Jr. passed away in Memphis in 1998 at age 69; D'Gerolamo (or De'Gerolamo), a native of Kenner, worked with the big bands of Tex Beneke, Jimmy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet; he recorded with Frank Sinatra, Nelson Eddy, Elvis Presley (on his classic 1969 Memphis sessions), and Isaac Hayes, among others
2011 New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne was featured in an episode of "MTV Unplugged" in 2011. He became the fourth rapper in history to star on the MTV concert series (and the first since 2001).

1889 Pianist, brass player, and music publisher Richard M. Jones was born in Donaldsonville, LA in 1889; Jones played tuba and cornet with the Claiborne Williams Band and Eureka Brass Band before reaching his teens; he moved to Chicago in 1919 and worked for Clarence Williams' publishing company; his recordings as a side man included sessions with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and Jimmie Noone.
1928 Late blues guitarist Lafayette Thomas was born in Shreveport, LA in 1928; Thomas worked with Jimmy McCracklin, Little Brother Montgomery, Memphis Slim, and others
1960 "There's Something on Your Mind (Part 2)" by late R&B performer Bobby Marchan entered the R&B Chart in 1960; it remained on the chart for 15 weeks and ultimately reached the #1 position
1964 Louis Armstrong's 1963 album "Hello, Dolly!" reached No.1 on the Billboard Albums Chart in 1964 (it held the top position for 6 weeks)
1989 Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989

1907 Late banjo player, guitarist and band leader Nappy Lamare was born in New Orleans in 1907; Lamare worked with Monk Hazel, Sharkey Bonano, Wingy Manone, and others; he was also well known for his stints with Bob Crosby's Bobcats and bands he co-led with fellow New Orleanian Ray Bauduc.
1932 Late piano player, arranger and producer Edward Frank was born in New Orleans in 1932; Frank was with the house band at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studio during the R&B heyday; his arrangements and piano can also be heard on latter-day albums by Dr. John, Lillian Boutte, Snooks Eaglin, Chuck Carbo, and others; also see Crescent City Gold: The Ultimate Session, which reunited Frank with Alvin Tyler, Lee Allen and Earl Palmer
1957 Keyboard player Gerald Dural was born in Lafayette, LA in 1957; Gerald is the brother of Stanley Dural, Jr. (aka Buckwheat Zydeco)
1969 Noted singer & songwriter Tony Joe White appeared on on ABC's "American Bandstand" in 1969; the "Swamp Fox" performed his hit single, "Polk Salad Annie".
1999 The husband and wife team of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were big winners at the TNN Music City News Country Awards in Nashville in 1999, taking home 6 of the 12 trophies; McGraw was named Male Artist of the Year, and the pair's duet "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" won for Best Vocal Collaboration; Hill won a total of 5 awards; after winning the Best Male Artist award, McGraw quipped: "I'm glad my wife wasn't nominated for this tonight"; other winners included Brooks & Dunn, who went home with the award for Vocal Duo/Group of the Year

1891 Late drummer and bandleader Johnny Stein was born in New Orleans in 1891; he formed Stein's Dixie Jass Band in 1915, which featured cornetist Nick LaRocca, trombonist Eddie Edwards, pianist Harry Ragas, and clarinetist Alcide "Yellow" Nunez; these four later went on to form the legendary Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
1900 Late cornet player Paul Mares was born in New Orleans in 1900; the son of trumpeter Joseph Mares, Paul worked with Leon Roppolo and Tom Brown as a teen; they later formed the Friars Inn Orchestra, which became the New Orleans Rhythm Kings; Mares passed away in 1949
1946 Funk guitar icon Leo Nocentelli was born in New Orleans in 1946; Nocentelli was a founding member of The Meters, but left the band at the end of 1993.
1962 Guitarist and vocalist Mark Meaux was born in 1962; Meaux co-founded Cajun rock group The Bluerunners and led the band for 20 years; his most recent project is Sam Rey.
1998 The soundtrack to rapper Master P's self written, financed and produced film "I Got The Hook-Up" was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1998
1998 Springhill, LA native Trace Adkins received the "Star of Tomorrow" award at the TNN/Music City News Country Music Awards in 1998
2000 Late singer, songwriter and 2-time Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis was presented with the Towering Song Award (for his classic "">You Are My Sunshine") at the 31st annual Songwriter's Hall of Fame Induction Awards, held in New York in 2000

1940 Trombonist Homer Eugene was born in New Orleans in 1914; in addition to his jazz appearances, Homer often paraded with the young Tuxedo Brass Band; his brother is Wendell Eugene, and he was also related to Albert Burbank, Danny Barker, and the Barbarin family
1940 Chicago blues man Nolan Struck was born in Dunson, LA in 1940; Struck went to Chicago as bass player for Lonnie Smith; he later recorded a highly praised album ("Brother to Brother") with his sibling, guitarist King Edward, in 1995 (produced by Lee Lavergne)
1956 "Please Listen To Me" by Smiley Lewis entered the R&B Chart in 1956; it went on to reach the #9 position
1962 "Wolverton Mountain" by Shreveport native Claude King entered the Billboard Pop Chart in 1962; the tune, written by King and Merle Kilgore, ultimately reached #6 on the Pop chart (and topped the Country chart for 9 straight weeks)
1970 New Orleans-born blues guitar pioneer Lonnie Johnson passed away in Toronto in 1970 at age 71; his recording career lasted over 40 years, including sessions in the 20's with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five; Johnson was a major influence on many blues and jazz guitarists, including Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, and B.B. King
1962 "I Got Mexico" by Lafayette native Eddy Raven hit #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1984.
1987 Noted trad jazz trumpeter Kid Thomas Valentine passed away in New Orleans in 1987 at age 91; Kid Thomas began playing in his home town of Reserve at age 14; after moving to New Orleans, he worked in a variety of bands, including his own Algiers Stompers; in his latter years, he was a fixture at Preservation Hall
1997 Branford Marsalis was named as a Creative Consultant to the Columbia Records label in 1997; he has since cut his ties with Columbia and formed his own label, Marsalis Music.
2011 Legendary New Orleans composer, producer and performer Allen Toussaint was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. Other Louisiana natives in the SHoF include Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams, Huddie Ledbetter (aka Lead Belly), Antoine "Fats" Domino, and Dave Bartholomew.

1914 Late piano player and vocalist James "Sing" Miller was born in New Orleans in 1914; Miller worked with Percy Humphrey and Earl Foster, among others; in latter years, he was a fixture at Preservation Hall.
1957 Jerry Lee Lewis' first hit single, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" debuted on the Billboard Country chart in 1957; the song had sold 100,000 copies in the South prior to Lewis appearing on The Steve Allen Show on July 28, 1957; it went on to hit #1 on both the Country and R&B charts (it #3 on the Hot 100 pop chart), and it eventually sold more than 6 million copies
1966 New Orleans born guitar and banjo player Johnny St. Cyr passed away in Los Angeles in 1966 at age 76; early in his career, St. Cyr worked with Freddy Keppard, Armand Piron, Kid Ory, and many others; he was featured on Louis Armstrong's "Hot Fives and Hot Sevens" sessions, and many other classic trad jazz recordings; St. Cyr moved to California in the 50's where he led the Young Men from New Orleans (at Disneyland) from 1961 until his death
1992 Fiddler and Cajun music legend Dewey Balfa passed away in Eunice, Louisiana in 1992 at the age of 65; in 1982, Balfa was honored with the National Heritage Fellowship, the highest award given to folk artists by the National Endowment of the Arts; he was featured in the documentaries "Cajun Visits/Les Blues De Balfa", "J'ai Ete Au Bal", and "Cajun Country: Donít Drop the Potato"; he also appeared in the films "The Big Easy" and "Southern Comfort"
2002 Piano player, composer and vocalist Jeff Naideau passed away in New Orleans in 2002 at age 48.
2011 Singer Harry Connick Jr. was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2011.

1906 Late drummer, composer and band leader Ray Bauduc was born in New Orleans in 1906; father (Jules Bauduc) and brother (Jules Jr.) were also musicians; Ray first worked accompanying movies at the Thelma Theatre in New Orleans while still in school; his career included stints with Ben Pollack, Bob Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, Nappy Lamare and Pud Brown, among others; writing credits included "South Rampart Street Parade"; Bauduc also appeared in films, including "The Fabulous Dorseys" (read more on Bauduc).
1955 "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" by late country music legend and Shreveport, LA native Faron Young reached No. 1 on the Country Chart in 1955. This was the first of five No. 1 hits for the "Hillbilly Heartthrob", who charted 89 times between 1953 and 1989 (over 35 of his tunes cracked the Top 10). The song Young knocked out of the top spot was Louisiana native Webb Pierce's "In The Jailhouse Now" which had held the #1 spot for the previous 21 weeks.
1975 Rapper Silkk The Shocker (Vyshonn King Miller) was born in New Orleans in 1975.

1936 R&B singer Shirley Goodman was born in New Orleans in 1936; Goodman was half of the popular 50's R&B duo, Shirley & Lee; they split in 1963, and Goodman moved to the west coast, doing session work with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Dr. John; Goodman resurfaced in 1975 with the #1 R&B hit, "Shame, Shame, Shame" (as Shirley & Company)
1947 The film "New Orleans", starring Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, opened on this day in 1947
1965 "Ride Your Pony" by Lee Dorsey entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1965; it went on to crack the Top 10, peaking at #7
1965 Former teen idol Jimmy Clanton appeared on ABC's "American Bandstand" in 1965 (performing "Hurting Each Other" and "Venus in Blue Jeans");
1970 Drummer Herman Seale passed away in New Orleans in 1970; Seale was part of a trio with Tuts Washington and Smiley Lewis in the late 1940's
1971 "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight entered the Billboard Top 40 in 1971; the tune eventually reached #2 on the Pop Chart and #1 on R&B Chart
1971 Papa Grows Funk sax man Jason Mingledorff was born in Montgomery, AL in 1971; Jason has also worked with New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Galactic, and Clint Black, among others; he is also an instructor at Loyola's College of Music and Fine Arts.
2006 The Louisiana State Senate passed a resolution commending Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino for his exceptional and unique rock 'n roll singing style, and designated June 19, 2006, as "Fats Domino Day" in Louisiana.
2007 Kermit Ruffins performed for President George W. Bush and guests at a Congressional Picnic held at the White House in 2007. See AP photo of Kermit Ruffins and President George Bush and transcript of President Bush's remarks.

1922 Multi-talented singer John Littleton was born in Tallulah, Louisiana in 1922. After serving in World War II, he remained in France and attended the Paris Conservatory of Music. Littleton specialized in southern spirituals, blues, bluegrass and opera. He received many honors in France including the Prix Mahalia Jackson and Le Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros. He passed away in Reims, France on August 24, 1998.
1933 Blues harp legend Lazy Lester (née Leslie Johnson) was born in Torras, Louisiana in 1933; Lester started out playing Louisiana clubs with Big John Jackson and Guitar Gable; he met Lightnin' Slim on a bus in the mid-50's and tagged along with him to a session at Jay Miller's Modern Music recording studio in Crowley, LA; when the harmonica player scheduled for Slim's session failed to show, Lester volunteered his talents, initiating a fertile creative relationship with Miller that helped pioneer the Louisiana swamp music style
1939 Crooner Al "Carnival Time" Johnson (web site) was born in New Orleans in 1939
1949 Local keyboard whiz Bob Andrews was born in England in 1949; Bob worked with Brinsley Schwarz, the Frankie Miller Band, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and others before relocating to New Orleans.
1970 "Hand Clapping Song" by The Meters entered the Billboard R&B Chart in 1970
1991 Country music star Mickey Gilley's 1980 album "Encore" was certified gold by the RIAA in 1991

1936 Late soul singer O.C. Smith (of "Little Green Apples" fame) was born in Mansfield, LA in 1936. Smith, who became a minister in the 1980's, passed away in November, 2001 (read more)
1952 "Goin' Home" by Fats Domino reached #1 on the R&B Chart in 1952. This was Fats' first time topping the chart, but three earlier singles ("The Fat Man", "Every Night About This Time", and "Rockin' Chair") all cracked the Top 10.
1969 The Johnny Adams classic "Reconsider Me" entered the R&B Chart in 1969; it later reached the #8 position, becoming the Tan Canary's only Top 10 hit
1970 Rubboard player and percussionist Sir Reginald B. Dural was born in Lafayette, LA in 1970. He is the son of Stanley Dural Jr., aka Buckwheat Zydeco
1973 Trumpeter and bandleader Mark Braud was born in New Orleans in 1973

1907 NOLA trad jazz pioneer, trumpeter and bandleader Ernest "Doc" Paulin was born in Wallace, LA in 1907. Paulin passed away on November 20, 2007 at age 100.
1948 Music entrepreneur Stan "The Record Man" Lewis opened his first record store in Shreveport, LA in 1948. He later founded the Jewel, Paula, and Ronn record labels.
1968 The single "Indian Lake" by family pop group The Cowsills entered the Billboard Top 40 in 1969. The group included New Orleans based singer & songwriter Susan Cowsill. The song reached No. 10 and remained in the Top 40 for 9 weeks.
1998 Harry Connick Jr.'s 1993 holiday album "When My Heart Finds Christmas" was certified double Platinum by the RIAA in 1998.
1999 Rapper Master P and his entourage were detained at New Orleans International Airport in 1999 after trying to get two guns checked at the security gates. The group did try to precheck the guns, bad had to carry them into the departure area because of their late arrival for a flight to Minneapolis. Master P and his posse were allowed to continue their travel after a misdemeanor summons was issued.
2005 Blues guitar great and longtime Clifton Chenier sideman Harry Hypolite was killed in an auto accident near Baton Rouge in June of 2005. He was 68 years old.

1911 Late tenor sax player and band leader Eddie Miller was born in New Orleans in 1911. His early career included long stints with bands led by Ben Pollack and Bob Crosby. Miller also worked with Pete Fountain's band from 1967-1976.
1926 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five recorded "King of the Zulus", "Big Fat Ma And Skinny Pa", "Lonesome Blues", and "Sweet Little Papa" for the Okeh label in Chicago in 1926.
1941 Perennial rocker, guitarist, session player and bandleader Deacon John Moore was born in New Orleans in 1941.
1948 Blues belter Luther Kent was born in New Orleans in 1948. Kent briefly toured with Blood, Sweat and Tears in the 70's, and led his own big band, Trick Bag.
1958 The LP "Las Vegas Prima Style" by Louis Prima & Keely Smith entered the Billboard Top 40 Albums Chart in 1958. It went on to reach the No. 12 position.
1959 Louis Armstrong was stricken by a heart attack in Spoleto, Italy while on tour with his All-Stars in 1959. Pops remained in the hospital until the end of the month. In typical Satchmo style, he surprised the world by making an unannounced appearance at a concert at New York's Lewisohn Stadium on July 4, his ceremonial birthday.
1960 Sax man and bandleader Donald Harrison, Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1960; Harrison has worked with Art Blakey, Terence Blanchard, and many others.
1967Soul Rebels Brass Band co-founder, snare drummer and sneaker head Lumar LeBlanc (aka Big Cheeky) was born in New Orleans in 1967.
1998 The album "Life or Death" by New Orleans rapper C-Murder was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1998. C-Murder (real name Corey Miller) is the brother of No Limit Records founder Master P.

1900 Late sax and clarinet player Captain John Handy was born in Pass Christian, MS in 1900. Handy moved to New Orleans as a teen. Early work included stints with bands led by Kid Albert, Kid Rena, Tut Johnson, Kid Howard, and his own band, the Louisiana Shakers. In later years, he worked and toured with Kid Sheik and gigged at Preservation Hall.
1912 Late string bass player Ransom Knowling was born in New Orleans in 1912. Knowling played with Sidney Desvigne and John Robichaux before settling in Chicago. He later worked with the Harlem Hamfats, Big Bill Broonzy, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (Knowling and fellow New Orleanian Judge Riley backed Crudup on the classic "That's All Right"), Roosevelt Sykes, Washboard Sam, Muddy Waters, and many others.
1946 Noted jazz bassist Clint Houston was born in New Orleans in 1946. Houston passed away in June 2000.
1957 Fats Domino's "It's You I Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 in 1957; it eventually reached #6
1967 Shreveport, LA native Brenton Wood's single "The Oogum Boogum Song" entered the Billboard Top 40 at #34 in 1967.
1971 The pop music festival known as the Celebration of Life got under way, three days late, at Cypress Point Plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana in 1971. Frustrated, starved, and doped up music fans were treated to performances by John Sebastian, Chuck Berry, Eric Burdon and War, and blues man Jimmy Witherspoon.
1977 Jerry Lee Lewis appeared on the TV music & variety series The Midnight Special in 1977.
1979 Multi-genre violin player and music instructor Harry Hardin was born in New Orleans.
1998 The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band kicked off a European tour in London on this day in 1998; later stops included the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

1918 Noted jazz bassist Stewart Davis was born in New Orleans in 1918
1925 Late accordion player Clifton Chenier was born in Opelousas, LA in 1925; known as "The King of Zydeco", Chenier was one of the first to incorporate R&B and rock into zydeco music, and he is largely responsible for it's gaining popularity outside of Louisiana
1951 Multi-genre guitarist Charles Moore was born in New Orleans in 1951.Moore has recorded with Allen Toussaint, Marva Wright, Deacon John Moore (his brother), and many others.
1966 "Almost Persuaded" by David Houston entered the Billboard Country Chart in 1966. The song later topped the chart for 9 consecutive weeks, and won two Grammy's for the Shreveport native. The country classic was penned by Billy Sherrill and Louisiana native Glenn Sutton, who also won Grammy's for the tune.
1971 The situation at the 1971 Celebration of Life Festival in Pointe Coupee Parish, LA continued to deteriorate. On the second day of the troubled music festical, angry fans protesting high prices stormed concession stands and stole what they could until police arrived. The only music on this day was performances from Stoneground, Bloodrock, and The Amboy Dukes.
1995 Alt rock group Pearl Jam canceled their 1995 U.S. tour, citing their ongoing battle with Ticketmaster as the reason. The tour was to include a July 4th performance at City Park Stadium. The New Orleans concert, featuring opening act The Ramones, eventually took place on September 17, 1995.
1999 Lucinda Williams' critically acclaimed, Grammy-winning album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" was certified Gold (500,000 units sold) by the RIAA in 1999.

1920 The legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso gave his first and only performance in New Orleans at The Athenaeum concert hall in 1920
1941 Soul singer Brenton Wood was born (Alfred Jesse Smith) in Shreveport, LA in 1941. Wood is known for his 1967 R&B hits "The Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign."
1941 Soul and funk singer/songwriter Eldridge Holmes was born in Violet, Louisiana in 1941. Holmes passed away in New Orleans in 1998.
1960 Cajun fiddler, guitarist, mandolinist, vocalist, composer, educator and studio owner Al Berard was born in Grand Anse, Louisiana in 1960.
1961 Country piano legend Floyd Cramer's cover of "San Antonio Rose" entered the Billboard Top 40 in 1961. The song remained there for 8 weeks, peaking at No. 8. It also reached No. 8 on the Country Chart.
1971 Trombonist Earl Humphrey passed away in New Orleans in 1971 at age 68. Earl was brother to musicians Percy Humphrey and Willie James Humphrey (all three played at Preservation Hall). His father was noted clarinetist, Willie Humphrey Sr., and his grandfather, "Professor" Jim Humphrey, was a celebrated music teacher. Earl can be heard on CD with Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight, and he later recorded with Kid Thomas and Lars Edegran.
1971 Fans began leaving the 1971 Celebration of Life Festival (held in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana) in droves, due to heat, and a lack of facilities, food, water, and music. Desperate festival promoter Steve Kapelow opened the gates to the event, allowing free entry.
1998 The U.S. Postal Service issued four commemorative stamps honoring folk musicians Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter and Josh White.

1897 Late drummer and kazoo blower Tony Spargo (real name Tony Sbarbaro) was born in New Orleans in 1897. Spargo was a founding member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
1913 Late Cajun accordion great Nathan Abshire was born in Gueyden, LA in 1913. Abshire first recorded in the early 1930's with The Rayne-Bo Ramblers. He was featured in the 1975 PBS special "Good Times Are Killing Me" and the documentary video "Les Blues de Balfa".
1949 Drummer extraordinaire Johnny Vidacovich was born in New Orleans in 1949. See partial discography.
1971 The last day of 1971's Celebration of Life Festival held in Pointe Coupee Parish featured performances by Boz Scaggs, Delaney and Bonnie, and Steve Stills. Only 8 of the 27 bands advertised by promoters actually played at the event. There were 3 deaths and 150 drug arrests during the trouble plagued festival.
1980 New Orleans born clarinet legend and bandleader Barney Bigard passed away in Culver City, CA in 1980 at age 74.

1928 Louis Armstrong recorded the groundbreaking classic "West End Blues" for the Okeh label in Chicago in 1928
1969 The single "Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On)" by late, great New Orleans singer Lee Dorsey entered the R&B Chart in 1969. The tune was written by Allen Toussaint.

1935 Late R&B singer Leonard Lee was born in New Orleans in 1935. Lee was half of the hit-making 1950s R&B duo, Shirley & Lee. He passed away in 1976 at age 41.
1959 The single "Personality" by Lloyd Price hit #1 on the R&B Chart in 1959. The tune remained at the top of the chart for 4 consecutive weeks.
1966 Swamp blues vocalist and guitarist Leroy Washington passed away in 1966 at age 34, shortly after a club performance in Oakdale, Louisiana. Washington recorded for J.D. Miller's Excello and Zynn labels.
1997 R&B singer, musician and songwriter Li'l Millet (McKinley James Millet) passed away in 1997 at age 61. The New Orleans native worked with Edgar Blanchard & the Gondoliers and The Hawketts before recording on his own as Li'l Millet and the Creoles in 1955. His songwriting credits included "All Around the World" (a Top 20 R&B hit for Little Richard in 1956) and "Rich Woman" (a 2008 Grammy winning cover by Alison Krauss & Robert Plant). Look for Li'l Millet tracks on the albums "The Cosimo Matassa Story," "Creole Kings of New Orleans, Volume Two" and "Jiving Jamboree 2: Good Time R&B and Rock 'N' Roll."

1899 Late clarinetist Harry Shields was born at 2319 First Street in New Orleans (two doors down from Buddy Bolden's house) in 1899. His brother Larry Shields was also a noted clarinetist who worked with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and others.
1925 Prolific trumpeter and bandleader Wallace Davenport was born in New Orleans in 1925. His notable musical associations included stints with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Ray Charles, and many others. Davenport passsed away in March of 2004 at age 78.
1961 New Orleans R&B legend Clarence "Frogman" Henry appeared on TV's American Bandstand in 1961.
1965 Jerry Lee Lewis appeared on ABC music show Shindig! in 1965. Also performing on the show were the Shindogs, featuring James Burton on lead guitar (both are now R&R Hall of Fame members).
1968 Heavy metal vocalist Philip Anselmo was born in New Orleans in 1968. Anselmo was lead singer for Pantera from 1987 until they disbanded in 2003. Other Anselmo projects have included the bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.
1969 Better Than Ezra bassist and backing vocalist Tom Drummond was born in Shreveport, LA in 1969. Drummond has produced albums for Honey Island Swamp Band, Papa Grows Funk, and others.
1981 Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis underwent emergency surgery in Memphis in 1981 for a perforated stomach ulcer; after 2 operations, he was given only a 50-50 chance of survival; however, Lewis returned to the road in just 4 months
1998 Lucinda Williams' critically acclaimed "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" was released on this day in 1998. The album later won Lucinda a Grammy and earned her a Gold record (for sales of over 500,000 copies). - On This Day in Louisiana Music History

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