Miss Merline’s great grandparents raised a big family on Dumaine Street, and one of their progeny was Merline’s grandma, Ms Louise Recasner Phillips.
In 1933, Phillips along with her husband Octave established the Gold Digger Baby Dolls.
During the war (WWII) the baby doll tradition faded as the male baby dolls were drafted and the womenfolks did not want to parade without their husbands.
It wasn’t til the late 70s that the tradition came back.
And it was Merline Kimble along with Lois Nelson (Trombone Shorty’s mama) who brought it back.
Merline’s first memory of seeing baby dolls live on the streets was watching Uncle Lionel’s Million Dollar Baby Dolls when she was a kid.
Expect the Gold Diggers to come through along with Mohawk Hunters, Big Chief Fi-Yi-Yi, Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Bamboula 2000, Corey Henry, Bobby Love, James Andrews and the Mandingo Warriors.
We expect this list to grow.
Lovefest 2018: A benefit for Backstreet Cultural Museum
Saturday October 20th 2018 UPDATE: This event will now take place at Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge on Thursday, November 1
1116 Henriette Delille St,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Listen to Merline Kimble’s interview with Action Jackson link