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Professor Longhair Selected Favorites

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Album Review

This is one of several discs that have been issued over the years featuring Professor Longhair's earliest tracks cut for Star Talent, Mercury, Wasco, and Atlantic. Professor Longhair's Boogie reissues original classics recorded between 1949 and the early '50s in New Orleans with his Shuffling Hungarians and Blues Jumpers on "She Walks Right In," "Hadacol Bounce," "'Mardi in New Orleans," "Bald Head," and 12 other equally essential gems. While the English Catfish label is obscure in the United States, this material is most prominently featured domestically on equally amazing discs from Rhino and Nighthawk.


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...
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