INTERESTING STUFF – 19 September 2015
How to Improve Daily Life for Elders (and Everyone Else Too)

ELDER MUSIC: Music of New Orleans Part 3

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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"I’m not sure, but I’m almost positive, that all music comes from New Orleans."
       – Ernie K-Doe

New Orleans

As this is Part 3, it might suggest to you that there have been Part 1 and Part 2. You'd be correct in that assumption.

KID ORY was a member of King Oliver's band, one of the earliest jazz groups.

Kid Ory

Edward (as his mum and dad knew him) started out playing banjo as a kid – that being still in the 19th century (he lived until 1973).

Kid switched to the trombone and became hugely influential on the instrument, not just as the lead instrument but also as playing rhythm, a skill he took from his banjo days. Here is Ory's Creole Trombone.

♫ Kid Ory - Ory's Creole Trombone

JOHNNY DODDS was an early jazz clarinet player. He was also proficient on the saxophone.

Johnny Dodds

He played with all the early great jazz musicians – King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and pretty much everyone who was performing in this style back then. In spite of his favoured instrument, the track today is called Blue Piano Stomp.

♫ Johnny Dodds - Blue Piano Stomp

ALVIN ROBINSON was a singer, guitarist and songwriter. His style was more blues oriented than many we've featured.

Alvin Robinson

Besides his own records, Alvin was much in demand as a session musician. He played guitar on several of Dr John's albums and also graced albums by Jesse Hill, Carly Simon and King Floyd.

His own records didn't sell well, which is the public's loss. Here is I've Never Been In Love.

♫ Alvin Robinson - I've Never Been In Love

Here's the biggest of the lot, not just in physical size, but in musical stature as well. FATS DOMINO.

Fats Domino

Fats and the Neville Brothers are the heart and soul of New Orleans' music. That's all I need to say about him, except here is Ain't It A Shame.

♫ Fats Domino - Ain't It A Shame

JOHNNY ADAMS was one of the finest singers around. He sang jazz, blues, rock & roll and pop with equal facility.

Johnny Adams

He wasn't the first to record the song Release Me but he was certainly one of the early ones. Many have attempted this song but no one has done it quite like Johnny, or as well.

♫ Johnny Adams - Release Me

Now the man whose quote begins each of these columns. Ernest Kadore recorded a number of songs under his birth name that didn't do very much. He then assumed the moniker ERNIE K-DOE and became a lot more popular.

Ernie K Doe

His most famous song would be Mother-in-Law but we're not using that one. Instead here is A Certain Girl.

♫ Ernie K-Doe - A Certain Girl

LONNIE JOHNSON was an extremely influential guitarist.

Lonnie Johnson

He also played violin, piano, mandolin and many other instruments. He was also a songwriter and singer. However, his guitar playing is considered in the same realm as Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker - that is just about the best ever.

Lonnie performs Why Should I Cry.

♫ Lonnie Johnson - Why Should I Cry

By an amazing coincidence, CHRIS KENNER was born in Kenner, Louisiana. What are the odds?


Chris wrote and first recorded the song Land of 1000 Dances that's been much covered over the years. However, the first time his name came to my notice was with the song I Like It Like That he wrote with Allen Toussaint.

♫ Chris Kenner - I Like It Like That

THE METERS were mostly an instrumental group.

The Meters

Their front man is Art Neville and the rest of the group consists of Leo Nocentelli, George Porter Jr and Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste. Besides their own work, they have often backed other New Orleans singers, in particular Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, and Dr John. Look-Ka Py-Py is one of their most famous compositions.

♫ The Meters - Look-Ka Py-Py

DR JOHN came into this world as Malcolm Rebennack.

Dr John

Besides changing his name, he also changed instruments. He started out as a guitarist and was a session musician for many other artists. However, he had a finger shot off in a gun fight and switched to the piano.

This is just one of numerous colourful stories about the Doctor. Such a Night is easily his most famous song.

♫ Dr John - Such A Night


Always look forward to the Elder Sunday Music
and I am never disappointed. Thanks so much!

Yoo-hoo.... guess who? Fats Domino has said it the best - Ain't that a shame my man is still missing.

Well Peter, three installments done and just one to go and still my main man remains in Louisiana obscurity.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he has a prominent place in your hall of musical memories (well, maybe a little doubt). If I may suggest, with time running so short, why don’t you take a couple or three days and go on a walkabout and see if you can clear some of those cobwebs. I fear you’re in need of a spiritual re-awakening. :)

You know Peter…. If this fellow doesn’t make it into round 4 and you then find out who you neglected, perhaps you should consider giving him the entire column on one of your future Sunday postings. My greatest fear however is that overlooking him will cause you to be banned from New Orleans for life.

I’m just saying….

I'll make a prediction for Part IV: Except for The Dixie Cups, no women so far. There were/are a slew of'em. Great ones.

Fats Domino was rescued during Katrina. I haven't heard any thing about him since. Is he okay?

To the best of my knowledge Fats is still alive and well and (very) occasionally performing.

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