In Memoriam

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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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Happy birthday Tuba Fats

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 5:24 PM

Anthony Tuba Fats Lacen
  • Anthony 'Tuba Fats' Lacen

Today is Tuba Fats' birthday. The great New Orleans music legend and mentor to many of our great local musicians would have been 63 years old today.

Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, born Sept. 15, 1950, was a band leader and sousaphone player who played professionally with several brass bands such as the Young Tuxedo and the Olympia Brass Bands as well as leading his own band Tuba Fats & the Chosen Few Brass Band. He died in 2004 and is honored every year in Treme on Tuba Fats Tuesday, the Tuesday after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ends, in a small park on the corner of St. Phillips and N. Robertson named in honor of the beloved tuba player.

Happy birthday, Tuba Fats!

Follow your girl on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube; Holla at me at bigredcotton@gmail.com.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

A note to Gambit crossword fans

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 4:37 PM

CREATIVE COMMONS/ANITA FINCHAM
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/ANITA FINCHAM

Last week's paper was the first in many years without a crossword puzzle. Gambit’s longtime crossword constructor, Merl Reagle, died Aug. 22 of complications related to pancreatitis. Merl was 65 and a legend in the crossword world; his death was memorialized in The New York Times (twice!), The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other papers. And he had the ultimate honor of our age: a cameo appearance on The Simpsons.

In the weeks to come we will try out two crosswords that are popular in other alt-weekly newspapers. In Sunday's paper, you'll find both "Jonesin'," created by Matt Jones, and “The American Values Club Crossword,” edited by Ben Tausig. Both have the cultural references and wordplay that were so popular in Merl's puzzles — fewer clues about obscure rivers and dynasties, more clues about pop music and slang and lots of puns — some great and some so awful they're great.

Eventually we'll just run one puzzle, but we want to get reaction from the cruciverbalists among our readers (crossword solvers are a passionate bunch). Which one do you prefer?

Please let us know your thoughts. Email us with “crossword” in the subject line. Happy solving.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gambit crossword constructor Merl Reagle dead at 65

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Merl Reagle played an animated version of himself (left) in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.
  • Merl Reagle played an animated version of himself (left) in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.

Merl Reagle, one of the world's greatest crossword constructors and a weekly contributor to Gambit since 2008, has died at 65, according to reports in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

According to reports, he became ill on Thursday with pancreatitis and died this morning in a hospital in Tampa, Florida, where he lived. Reagle is survived by his wife, Marie Haley.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bush, Clinton visits added to Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary events

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 1:09 PM

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Yesterday it was announced President Barack Obama would be coming to New Orleans Aug. 27 to tour the city on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Now former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton will be coming to New Orleans next week as well to participate in some of the commemoration ceremonies.

Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush will visit Warren Easton Charter School Aug. 28 for an education round table discussion, at which the former president also will offer remarks. Clinton will come to the "Power of Community" event Aug. 29 at Smoothie King Center, the city's main event in the weeklong Katrina commemoration. Faith leaders and many New Orleans musicians will perform, and journalist Soledad O'Brien will host. The event is open to the public and free, and organizers say tickets are available at city libraries, or can be reserved via the city's website.

These are only two of many events — official and unofficial — going on next week as part of the Katrina commemoration. Our list of community events is here, and under the jump is the city's list of official events, and how you can attend.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

New Orleans business owners mourn the loss of Jillian Johnson

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 4:52 PM

Jillian Johnson was one of two victims in Thursday's Lafayette movie theater shooting. The artist, musician and retailer owned two Magazine Street businesses, Red Arrow Workshop and Parish Ink. Her death has left fellow boutique and small business owners reeling. Their reactions are below. 

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Jindal temporarily suspends presidential campaign after Lafayette theater shootings

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Jillian Johnson, one of two people slain in a Lafayette movie theater last night. Johnson owned Red Arrow Workshop, a store with branches in Lafayette and New Orleans. This photo was taken from the store's Instagram feed.
  • Jillian Johnson, one of two people slain in a Lafayette movie theater last night. Johnson owned Red Arrow Workshop, a store with branches in Lafayette and New Orleans. This photo was taken from the store's Instagram feed.


The morning after a shooter took the lives of Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux and injured nine others in a Lafayette movie theater, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would temporarily suspend his presidential campaign.

Appearing on the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, Jindal said, “We are going to do whatever we can to support our community. This is a time for us to come together.”

Jindal campaign spokeswoman Shannon Dirmann did not immediately respond to an email asking how long the campaign would be suspended.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Today: Big Chief Robbe Centennial Celebration

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:49 AM

big_chief_robbe.png
  • image courtesy of Tipitinas

Big Chief Robbe Centennial Celebration

Members of the Mardi Gras Indian community and the Young Men’s Olympian Jr. Benevolent Association will gather today Saturday, May 23, 2015, at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, to honor the memory of Big Chief Robbe, the first Chief of Chiefs of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council. The late Big Chief Robbe (Robert Nathaniel Lee) would have celebrated his 100th birthday on May 21, 2015.


(More details below)

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