Notes On The Short Electric Life Of Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones

The 1200 block of Saratoga in Central City is one of the most infamous streets in the annals of New Orleans crime. On the morning of July 27th, 1900, Robert Charles, a black man from Mississippi shot 24 white people including four cops before a white mob set fire to the cottage he was holed-up in, and shot him dead as the house burned to the ground. Continue Reading

Notes On The Life Of Legendary Transvestite Performer Bobby Marchan

New Orleans was chockablock with transvestites in the 1950s.

Imagine walking into the Dew Drop Inn in Central City when giants like Fats Domino and Chris Kenner were regularly performing. The host of the affair would be Patsy Vidalia, born Irving Ale, and the show opener just might be Bobby Marchan born Oscar James Gibson. Continue Reading

Notes On The Life Of Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price loved to hang out with his little brother Leo at their mama Beatrice’s fried catfish restaurant, the Fish ’n’ Fry in Kenner, Louisiana when they were kids. She had a jukebox filled with early blues stompers like Beans and Cornbread by Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner’s Watch That Jive, and Amos Milburn’s Chicken Shack Boogie. Continue Reading

Notes on New Orleans Jazz Drummer Baby Dodds

Baby Dodds was playing a gig in Chicago at Lincoln Gardens in 1923 when he purchased his “favorite drum.” It set him back ten bucks. When asked to show it off he does so gladly before kissing it and placing it back in its rack.

If you come from a hardscrabble background where $10 is a small fortune you better believe you’ll kiss your moneymaker when you shelled out that kind of money for it. Continue Reading