Here is the start of AllMusic’s profile of The Neville Brothers, one of the most important of the many great bands and performers to come out of New Orleans:
Throughout their long careers as both solo performers and as members of the group that bore their family name, the Neville Brothers proudly carried the torch of their native New Orleans’ rich R&B legacy. Although the four siblings — Arthur, Charles, Aaron, and Cyril — did not officially unite under the Neville Brothers aegis until 1977, all had crossed musical paths in the past, while also enjoying success with other unrelated projects: Eldest brother Art was the first to tackle a recording career, when in 1954 his high school band the Hawketts cut “Mardi Gras Mambo,” a song that later became the annual carnival’s unofficial anthem. Both Aaron and Charles later joined the Hawketts as well, and when Art joined the Navy in 1958, he handed Aaron the group’s vocal reins. (Read More…)
Above is Fire on the Bayou and below is the band’s version of the Professor Longhair song Big Chief.
Professor Longhair was a New Orleans piano player who greatly influenced Dr. John. Here is the first paragraph of an interesting site dedicated to the colorful and eccentric musician:
Henry Roeland Byrd (a.k.a Professor Longhair) was Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, on December 19, 1918. The Henry Roeland Byrd story is fundamentally the story of an artist who created his own musical world, constantly refining and elaborating a distinctive personal style. It may have been too idosyncratic to ever capture mainstream popularity during Longhair’s lifetime, but it was so striking and individual that it ultimately became the definitive standard for New Orleans piano players. Continue Reading…
Here is more, from Alligator Records:
New Orleans is said to be a city where having a party has been elevated from a casual pastime to a way of life. Nobody understood this better than Professor Longhair, one of the pioneers of New Orleans rhythm & blues. His influence can be heard in Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, among many others. Known for his unique mix of blues, jazz, calypso, ragtime, and zydeco, “Fess” (as he was known) defined and captured the essence of New Orleans in his music. Born Henry Roeland Byrd in Bogalusa, Louisiana 1918, and raised in New Orleans, Fess started performing at an early age, often dancing down Bourbon Street for tips. Continue Reading…
Above is Big Chief and below is Tipitina.
Digital Dream Door is quite a site for music lovers. Here is its take on the top ten songs of 1950. Number 9, of course, is of special note because it became the name of a band that didn’t do too badly.
1. The Fat Man - Fats Domino
2. Please Send Me Someone To Love - Percy Mayfield
3. Teardrops From My Eyes - Ruth Brown
4. Mona Lisa - Nat “King” Cole
5. Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
6. Long Gone Lonesome Blues - Hank Williams
7. Mardi Gras In New Orleans - Professor Longhair
8. I’m Movin’ On - Hank Snow
9. Rollin’ Stone - Muddy Waters
10. Double Crossing Blues - Johnny Otis (Little Esther & the Robins)
Here is Patti Page’s Tennessee Waltz. I was surprised by how slow it is compared to subsequent versions. But it’s beautiful.