Publicity photo of Gert Town Native Tami Lynn aka Gloria Brown

New Orleans native Tami Lynn née Gloria Brown is dead at 78 years of age. I wrote a feature on her recently for my New Orleans Album of the Week series.

“Do you remember your first love affair?”

Tami Lynn née Gloria Brown whispers on Introduction To A Love Affair, the first cut off her debut LP Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone.

It’s heart-wrenching.

Tami Lynn grew up in the hard-scrabble Gert Town section of New Orleans 16th Ward. To this day there are parts of the neighborhood that have dirt streets and houses without indoor plumbing. more

Rest In Peace: Uganda Roberts

Uganda Roberts didn’t become friends with Professor Longhair til 1972. By that time the not-yet 30 year old drummer had already carved out a nice niche for himself in the New Orleans jazz community. You could see him around town at places like Lu & Charlie’s on Rampart Street where a pitcher of cold draft beer would run you $3 or Holly’s a few blocks away on Basin Street. Continue Reading

The Death of Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club King Larry Hammond

I know it’s fashionable to hate Daily Mail but our local papers did not provide anywhere near this level of coverage on the death of Zulu King Larry Hammond.

I’m writing an article about the massive backlog of second lines that is stacking up due to the city of New Orleans isolation mandate, and I’ll publish it soon.

Schwegmann’s Grocery has burned to the ground

The building that housed Schwegmann’s Grocery has burned to the ground.

Originally opened in 1869, it served as a launching pad for the birth of the modern supermarket in USA. John Gerald Schwegmann was born on Aug. 14, 1911 in the apartments above the old store that his grandfather, a German émigré had founded nearly a half century prior. Continue Reading

Rest In Peace Ronald Lewis of Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Ronald Lewis has passed away.

Mr Lewis along with Artie Anderson, Edgar Jacobs Jr, Peter Alexander, Robert Starks and Ricky Gettridge created the Big Nine Social Aid and Pleasure Club in 1995.

Lewis was also founder, owner and operator of House of Dance and Feathers, one of the finest museums in a New Orleans that has hundreds of them.

WWOZ has a full eulogy here.

Rest In Peace 5th Ward Weebie

New Orleans bounce legend and hip hop mogul 5th Ward Weebie aka Jerome Cosey has passed. He was just 42 years old. In 2014 the Amistad Research Center sat down with Weebie for nearly an hour and the New Orleans native was feeling particulary loquacious. Cosey had been in poor health of late dealing with medical issues brought on by high blood pressure.

Interview

Rest in peace Vencil Mares

Old school barbecue man Vencil Mares of Taylor Cafe in Taylor, Texas has passed. How old school was Mr Vencil? He opened his barroom slash barbecue joint in 1948 and was involved in running the operation as owner until his death earlier this week.

That’s 71 years.

We last visited him in August of this year and had a fine feast for roughly $5. That fiver netted us two pluperfect Bohunk sausages with a full spread of cold onions, dill pickles and that signature sauce whose recipe people begged for like scurvy dogs.

Vencil Mares was born in the hinterlands of Fayette County on November 10, 1923 to Stan Mares and Lexie Zimmerhanzel- Mares. He died on November 24, 2019 in Taylor.

We were lucky to eat at Mares’ table since the late 80s when we began venturing up to Taylor in search of new barbecue as we were plumb tuckered out on what the Austin scene had way back then.

We’d rotate between Louie Mueller’s and Vencil’s old joint.

Texas hot guts and oak-smoked brisket always landed on our plates in those halcyon days.

Mr Mares was honored by the city of Taylor on November 10th of this year and was given the keys to the city. Henceforth that day will always be known as ‘Vencil Mares Day.’

Bohunk sausage at Taylor Cafe