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Down In New Orleans

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Album Review

Plenty of rarities are featured on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, making it a valuable cross-section of Professor Longhair's early releases. Both sides of the pianist's first two 78s for Star Talent Records are aboard, as well as sides he cut for Mercury, Federal ("Curly Haired Baby," "Gone So Long"), Wasco ("East St. Louis Baby"), Atlantic, and Ebb.

Biography

Born: 19 December 1918 in Bogalusa, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Justly worshipped a decade and a half after his death as a founding father of New Orleans R&B, Roy "Professor Longhair" Byrd was nevertheless so down-and-out at one point in his long career that he was reduced to sweeping the floors in a record shop that once could have moved his platters by the boxful. That Longhair made such a marvelous comeback testifies to the resiliency of this late legend, whose Latin-tinged rhumba-rocking piano style and croaking, yodeling vocals were as singular and spicy...
Full Bio