In Memoriam

Friday, January 29, 2016

Musee Conti to close for good Jan. 31

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Andrew Jackson leads the Battle of New Orleans in this exhibit at Musee Conti. The wax museum closes Jan. 31 after 52 years. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Andrew Jackson leads the Battle of New Orleans in this exhibit at Musee Conti. The wax museum closes Jan. 31 after 52 years.

New Orleans' own quirky wax museum, Musee Conti, is set to close Sunday after 52 years of entertaining visitors and schoolchildren with wax dioramas of scenes like the Louisiana Purchase and the Battle of New Orleans.

Read our November cover story about Musee Conti's unusual history here.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: Oh! You pretty things

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM


A David Bowie memorial parade and several streets-sized block party made the French Quarter on Saturday night look like the bottom of the box where you keep your glittery Christmas ornaments. Also: Everyone turns into a Powerball goblin, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans Baton Rouge, and Gov. John Bel Edwards is pope of Louisiana.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Watch a parade of Bowies lead a second line with Arcade Fire

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Preservation Hall's Clint Maedgen on saxophone performing "Heroes" in a second line from the Mississippi River into the French Quarter honoring the late David Bowie.
  • Preservation Hall's Clint Maedgen on saxophone performing "Heroes" in a second line from the Mississippi River into the French Quarter honoring the late David Bowie.

A seemingly infinite sea of lightning bolt-painted faces, elaborate wigs and glittery contour makeup filled the French Quarter for a second line tribute to David Bowie, who died Sunday, Jan. 10. Members of Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band led the second line from the hallowed hall to the Mississippi River and ended at One Eyed Jacks, all to the strains of Bowie hits, from "Oh! You Pretty Things" as the dirge to a bombastic, brassy "Suffragette City."

Watch the band and a fraction of the colorful, Bowie-fied crowd below.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Arcade Fire and Pres Hall hosting second line for David Bowie

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 3:30 PM

JIMMY KING
  • JIMMY KING
Two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his acclaimed 26th album Blackstar, David Bowie died Sunday, Jan. 10.

In New Orleans, Arcade Fire joins the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a second line honoring the beloved, immensely influential musician and artist. The bands request dressing in your best Bowie at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at Preservation Hall (726 St. Peter St.).

Bowie performed several times in New Orleans. On Nov. 22, 1972, several months after his landmark The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie and his band performed at the Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas for more than 1,500 people. (Tickets were $4.) He also appeared at the Superdome in 1987 during his "Glass Spider" tour and at the Saenger Theatre in 2004 following 2003's Reality.

In 2005, Bowie praised the then-rising band from Montreal to Rolling Stone: "I bought a huge stack of the Funeral CD last September and gave them to all my friends. I made so many converts."

Bowie and Arcade Fire performed together at Fashion Rocks that year — money raised from the EP benefited Hurricane Katrina relief organizations. Together they performed Bowie's "Life on Mars?" and "Five Years" and Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" from its debut studio LP Funeral. Bowie also appeared briefly on the band's 2013 album Reflektor, adding his vocals to the album's title track. Following Bowie's death, Arcade Fire's Win Butler wrote, "Goodbye friend. So many tears, and so lucky to have passed in the same solar system."

In a band statement, Arcade Fire said Bowie "not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth. We will take to the grave the moments we shared; talking, playing music and collaborating as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives." See the second line route below:

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Jan. 14 declared Allen Toussaint Day

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Allen Toussaint Day is Jan. 14, his birthday. - MICHAEL WILSON
  • MICHAEL WILSON
  • Allen Toussaint Day is Jan. 14, his birthday.

The New Orleans City Council today declared Jan. 14 Allen Toussaint Day, honoring the late songwriter and producer's birthday.

Toussaint — born Jan. 14, 1938 — died in November following a performance in Spain. He was 77. Hundreds of fans and fellow musicians gathered at the Orpheum Theater to pay their respects to the artist, the architect of New Orleans funk and a prolific, humble and stylish visionary in rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

A fond farewell to Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints" for 44 seasons

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints," who died Dec. 23.
  • Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints," who died Dec. 23.
New Orleans lost a great friend when Jerry Romig, the iconic “voice of the Saints” for 44 seasons, died at his home on Dec. 23 surrounded by his family. He was 86. Generations knew Jerry for his “First down … SAAAAAAINTS!” cry that was more a cheer than a play-by-play call. I had the privilege of knowing Jerry as a mentor and friend.


What I remember most about Jerry are his terrific sense of humor, his consummate professionalism, and his love of family and sports. He was one of the few people on earth who had both a Super Bowl ring (a gift from the Saints upon his retirement) and a genuine sense of humility.

I first met Jerry in the 1970s when his son Mark and I became fraternity brothers at UNO. Jerry and his wife Janice were everybody’s favorite parents; they tolerated more than a few of our raucous parties in their Lakeview backyard.

A few years later I got to know him better when I got involved in the local Gridiron Show. The show had fallen on hard times and needed a reboot. Jerry took the lead and was perfect for the job. He not only got the show running again, but he also brought a new level of professionalism to it. For years he opened the show with a Johnny Carson-like monologue that was consistently a hit. He also wrote many of the funniest scripts of that era.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Musicians, fans celebrate the life of Allen Toussaint

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Allen Toussaint's blue Rolls-Royce leaves the Orpheum Theater, passing a second line led by members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Treme Brass Band following Toussaint's memorial Nov. 20. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Allen Toussaint's blue Rolls-Royce leaves the Orpheum Theater, passing a second line led by members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Treme Brass Band following Toussaint's memorial Nov. 20.

Brian "Breeze" Cayolle removed his black cowboy hat before performing "Ave Maria" on clarinet. The room — full of hundreds of mourners at a tribute to Allen Toussaint — fell a beautiful kind of quiet after a powerful string of performances and shared memories from music luminaries, paying their respects to the giant of New Orleans music and rock 'n' roll. Cayolle, who performed alongside Toussaint for several decades and was among his pallbearers, made the reeds weep, sweetly, then he bowed his head.

More than 1,500 fans filled the Orpheum Theater and crowded the street Nov. 20 to pay tribute to the songwriter, who died Nov. 10 after a performance in Spain. Toussaint's casket, draped in white flowers and flanked by lilies, daisies and white roses, sat just below the stage — a piano, Toussaint's musical vessel, was above it. Among the tribute's many performers were Cyril Neville, John Boutte, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Deacon John Moore, Jimmy Buffett, Boz Scaggs, Davell Crawford, Jon Cleary and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Orleans songwriter, producer Allen Toussaint has died; New Orleans musicians remember the legendary artist

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 11:40 AM

Allen Toussaint performing at the 2007 Big Easy Music Awards, where he received Entertainer of the Year. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Allen Toussaint performing at the 2007 Big Easy Music Awards, where he received Entertainer of the Year.

The heart, soul, brain and style of New Orleans music has died. Allen Toussaint — the architect of New Orleans funk and R&B, having written, arranged and produced countless New Orleans hits, and whose fingerprints are unmistakable throughout rock 'n' roll history — died in the early morning on Nov. 10 following a performance in Spain, reports WWL-TV. He was 77.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Paul Prudhomme, pioneering Louisiana chef, dies at 75

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Chef Paul Prudhomme and his signature spice mix. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Chef Paul Prudhomme and his signature spice mix.


Paul Prudhomme
, the Opelousas native who popularized Cajun cuisine in the 1980s, has died at 75 after a brief illness resulting from an infection, WWL-TV reported this morning. A worker at his restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, confirmed the news.

Prudhomme, the youngest of 13 children, began cooking in Opelousas before apprenticing in kitchens around the country. He came back to Louisiana and worked in New Orleans at Maison Dupuy and Le Pavillon before being named executive chef at Commander's Palace in 1975. Prudhomme opened his signature restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, in 1979 on Chartres Street in the French Quarter. It brought national attention to the ingredients and rustic cooking style of rural Louisiana, including a national vogue for "blackened" meats and fishes after Prudhomme's own blackened redfish recipe.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Willie Mae’s Scotch House’s Willie Mae Seaton dies

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Willie Mae Seaton, of Treme institution Willie Mae's Scotch House, died this week, family members confirmed. - COURTESY WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE
  • COURTESY WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE
  • Willie Mae Seaton, of Treme institution Willie Mae's Scotch House, died this week, family members confirmed.



Willie Mae Seaton, of the fried chicken institution Willie Mae’s Scotch House (2401 St. Ann St., 504-822-9503) has died. She was 99.

Seaton’s great-granddaughter Kerry Seaton-Stewart, who runs the Treme restaurant and its Uptown outpost, confirmed Seaton died on Friday, Sept. 18.  

Seaton was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi and moved to New Orleans with her husband in her 20s, during WWII. While her husband worked at a local shipyard, Seaton worked a variety of jobs including a long stint as a taxi driver, before opening the restaurant. 

“She was an entrepreneur,” Seaton-Stewart said. “She was extremely driven and hardworking and she did what she had to to keep the place going.”

Willie Mae's Scotch House opened in 1957, first as a as a bar, and later, following customer demand, as a restaurant.  Seaton tended the bar for about 15 years before finally becoming its chef. 

“(Bar patrons) would smell her food coming into the bar and they’d beg and beg and beg her to open a restaurant,” Seaton-Stewart said. 

Her cooking gained the following of locals and tourists alike who praised the spicy, crunchy fried chicken, creamy white butter beans and the casual and friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

"Everyone loved her — her customers and her family.  She was hard-working, smart, and driven," Seaton-Stewart said. 

During the years, Seaton continued to run the restaurant with help from various family members, including her daughter, Lillie, who passed away in 1991. 

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