Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 17th 2017 New Orleans / Finding out more than the Blues.

Every time  I come to New Orleans I learn something new and something interesting.  How to pronounce French words correctly is hard enough but to remember what foods to order that I like is an undertaking. Arrived Saturday morning and listened WWOZ coming into NOLA, Jazz and Blues. Bluesville on XM radio, got me ready for the New Orleans feel.  This trip would be to use the XA 30 Canon and not concentrate on music as much but that is like giving candy to a child and telling them NOT to eat it. It can't be done, so this will be an educational trip also.  Oragami for lunch on Saturday and it was a late lunch but rolled down the window in the car to hear some music. Wing-stop for a late dinner (bbq chicken wings). Up Sunday morning for worship at Edgewater Baptist Church, service was great, Chad and his family on vacation so Richard (a deacon preached), Dat Dog after church, I had the hamburger hot dog. VERY GOOD. Music in the background.  Hung out at the room (David and I) and then Wing-stop again for dinner.  This morning up at ate breakfast at Pontilly Coffee Shop across the street from NOBTS.  

Monday -  

Tuesday - (20th) Mona's for lunch. Rained most of the day. Museum of Art  (NOMA).  ((earlier))  

Wednesday - (21st), David had to work, so I headed to the Williams Research Center (410 Chartres St., NOLA)  I'd been there before (back several months ago) just to say that I'd been but never to ask for anything from the special collections or archive, only to read. Today was unbelievable. I met Heather Szafran and another Heather, both helped me from the time I arrived, through the tornado warning.  I studied without knowing there was a water spout just outside the Center that set off the tornado warning; I just studied through it.  Heather and Heather asked me what I wanted. I told them it was an on going study of the African music (sound) that transformed into classical and then into the early sounds of the blues and jazz.  First things first, to study the African sound I'd need to go back to the Amistad Collection at Tulane (been there and done that, when I studied Freddy Williams "Congo Square"), 
re:  Amistad Research Center   |   Tilton Hall   |  Tulane University
6823 St. Charles Avenue   |   New Orleans, LA 70118

O  (504) 862-3222  |  F (504) 862-8961

Charles B. Rousseve papers, 1842-1994 | Amistad Research Center

By Andrew Salinas  Title: Charles B. Rousseve papers, 1842-1994Collection Overview
Creator: Rousseve, Charles B. (1902-1993)
Extent: 5.59 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 01/01/1984

Since I'd been there already Heather suggested that I look into some items of interest for Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829 - 1869) a composer I'd known about from a few cds that I'd purchased on line about the history of classical to blues transformation. I decided to give it a chance and go for the special collection items on LM Gottschalk. When Heather brought me the items I teared up immediately, as these were not replicas or books about Gottschalk but his own works (originals). I could not and still can not believe that I actually had my hands on such valuable yet fragile items. One such book was so fragile I used a cradle, a cloth rolled up on both ends describing a scroll turned upside down and shoe strings that were weighed down to old the pages as I read or took pictures, oh the book ? written in 1860 several years before the ending of the Civil War and just a year before the war began. My mind was blown.  There the info of LM Gottschalk was so vast and rich it would take a month just to research it alone.  Once my research was complete for the day (I was tired and hungry), I decided to give it a rest and go take David some lunch and get some lunch too. Gottschalk would have to wait until the blog or another day in NOLA. 

Traditionally, Gottschalk is remembered as a virtuoso, as well as a prolific composer of popular (and, so it is said, quite often rather sentimental) music. While there may be some truth in this statement, it is our belief that there is more to Gottschalk and his music than just that. As one of his biographers has put it, Gottschalk was “both an arch-romantic and a rationalist, a sentimentalist and a pragmatist, at once America´s first regionalist composer, its first multiculturalist, and its first true nationalist.”
Gottschalk was also the first and, one might well argue, possibly the last pan-American composer and artist. Not only did he travel frequently outside the United States, as did, by necessity, most virtuoso pianists at the time; he also lived in South America and the Caribbean for extended periods of time, incorporating, without prejudice but with critical judgment, many local influences and musical traditions. He also was politically outspoken on issues such as slavery and the Civil War, and while a true American patriot, he did not spare his countrymen acrimonious criticism whenever he deemed it appropriate.

This website will continue to grow so as to provide as complete and concise an account of Gottschalk´s life and his music as possible. We also intend to provide an up-to-date documentation of books on Gottschalk and a discography of recordings of his music (concentrating on CDs and recordings that are currently available rather than on historic sources). To the extent that the books and CDs featured on this website are available, we provide direct links to online sources (in association with,, and We encourage you to order music and literature by using the links provided for each title or recording, or (if no individual link is available) by logging on to amazon via one of the general amazon links on this website.
If you have comments or suggestions concerning this website, feel free to let us know by sending an email to The cool thing about the new pay to park (parking lots) you enter your phone number and tag and then pay. The entrance of the tag obviously keeps up with whom you are BUT the telephone number text warns you about your time limit. My phone warned me that I only had like 10 minutes to get to the car,  3 hours was plenty of time but then all I had to do was go and reset the meter to about one hour more.  This was to study the display of STORYVILLE. A touchy subject BUT I WILL COVER IT. You see Storyville is about the era of time frame I am researching BUT it includes a RATED PG-13 format that I promised my readers someday I may have to cover. UP UNTIL THIS POINT sex, brothels anything to do with a not so pleasant subject matter was not mentioned at GMP&A because as I have promised so many it is a family website.
I will try to be as discreet as I can. Here we go. The display at the Williams Research Center was excellent, information had to really be researched to have such a display as that. The meaning of STORYVILLE is as such..Storyville was the red-light district of New OrleansLouisiana, from 1897 to 1917. It was established by municipal ordinance under the New Orleans City Council, to regulate prostitution and drugs. Sidney Story, a city alderman, wrote guidelines and legislation to control prostitution within the city. The ordinance designated a sixteen block area as the part of the city in which prostitution, although still nominally illegal, was tolerated or regulated. The area was originally referred to as "The District", but its nickname, "Storyville", soon caught on, much to the chagrin of Alderman Story.  It was bound by the streets of North Robertson, Iberville, Basin, and St. Louis Streets. It was located by a train station, making it a popular destination for travelers throughout the city, and became a centralized attraction in the heart of New Orleans. Only a few of its remnants are now visible. The neighborhood lies in Faubourg Tremé and the land is now used for housing.  As I understand the story there were millionaires, bankers, lawyers, high society gentlemen that would frequent these houses in the red-light area of NOLA near Basin Street. These brothels would house for the weekends and after work, musicians that were very talented and the best that NOLA had. Other "not so well brothels" had cheap gramaphones for music entertainment.  There were as such books "BLUE, RED, GREEN, YELLOW, etc.. that one could purchase for 25 cents that listed in alphabetical order the names and address of the ladies of the evening that also worked at the better know brothels in this area.  I will leave this alone for right now but the uneasy part of this story is still untold, not to give NOLA a bad name, because that is where the history is, it is that I'd rather not go into anymore detail unless you contact me by email.  I'd always wondered why NOLA had a bad rep for the 1800's and early 1900's now I know.    One such artist was Tony Jackson, one of the best piano players in NOLA (circa 1880), Jackson passed in 1921. 

There was noting that Jackson could not play from any genre hearing it only once he could play it.  Unfortunately he attended and played at many brothels in the red-light district.  The more famous the artist the more the Madams' wanted them to entertain to keep clients.  Prostitutes were controlled in the mid 1900's but up until then, they were not controlled and they were taxed as any other item for sell in NOLA.  With that part of the pay to the artist would come form the city itself. 
Lulu White was one of the most famous madams in Storyville, running and maintaining Mahogany Hall. She employed 40 prostitutes and sustained a four-story building that housed 15 bedrooms and five parlors. She often found herself in trouble with the law for serving liquor without a license and was known to get violent when another intervened in her practice. Her clients were the most prominent and wealthiest men in Louisiana and she is remembered for her glamour and jewels "which were like the 'lights of the St. Louis Exposition' just as reported in her promotional booklet"
Prior to leaving New Orleans, White lost $150,000 in her investment schemes following the closure of Storyville.

Wednesday night (21st)  David and I went to the French Market Cafe' to eat muffuletta, and heard Richard Knox (one of the best blues / jazz pianist I've ever heard).  His story is as follows: first from ((The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000: A Personal Retrospective)) 

Richard Knox was born in Champaign, Illinois (ideally located between St. Louis and Chicago, Il) on September 20th 1941, the last of seven children. For as long as he can remember, he played piano. Relatives say that he started when he was about four years old. The first song that Richard remembers playing was called the "Honey Dipper". By the time he entered high school Richard had a yearning to play in a group. He got together with two of his fellow classmates and formed "Le Trois" (translated "the three".  They played rock and roll hits and imitated stand up groups like Little Anthony and the Imperials. In the latter part of his secondary school years, his interest in the Blues was sparked by the bands that played at local Club call "The Hole" in the Champaign Danton area. At night, Richard with sneak out into the club, take a seat in a secluded corner and absorb himself in the music. Some of the musicians who knew that he could play, would invite him to jam with them on the bandstand. He realized, then, that playing the piano was in important part of his life and he wanted to be a famous musician. Richard Knox started working professionally in Chicago in the 60s with blues artists such as Earl Hooker and Roland Brown and the Jazz Merchants. The music led him to New Orleans in 1966.  Richard work at the renowned Do Drop Inn  ((The Dew Drop Inn, at 2836 LaSalle Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, is a former hotel and nightclub that operated between 1939 and 1970, and is noted as "the most important and influential club" in the development of rhythm and blues music in the city in the post-war period. The venue primarily served the African-American population in the then heavily-segregated Southern United States)),  ( where he played with various New Orleans artists including Johnny Adams, Earl King, Porgy Jones, and James Rivers. He formed a jazz group called The Three Sages in the mid-70s. This Trio featured John Brunlus on trumpet and Sydney Wilson on drums. After leaving the three sages, he had a desire to play rock and psychedelic music comma so he joined the Deacon John band. 
((Deacon John Moore (born June 23, 1941, New Orleans, Louisiana) better known as Deacon John is a blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll musician, singer, actor, and bandleader)).
It was during this time that Richard enrolled in southern University of New Orleans School of Music and was greatly influenced by the instruction of Professor and acclaimed jazz musician kid Jordan. By 1980 he began playing with noted New Orleans traditional jazz musician Teddy Riley and Thomas Jefferson. Richard Knox has covered the gamut of music genre. He is most noted among his fellow musicians as the keyboard man who plays much like Jimmy Smith. Richard may be seen in some of the New Orleans finest hotels playing piano with some of the newer New Orleans best musicians and performers such as Walter Peyton, Alva Jacques and Barbara Shorts. Richard has performed at every New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival since the Inception of the event. For the last three years, Richard Knox has been traveling the world as piano and keyboard player for the reconstructed Dirty Dozen Brass Band.       

"To play My Piano and keyboard truly quenches my thirst for Creative expression. It's my life's calling. I feel so grateful for this gift that God has given me. I want to share my piano with the world." - Richard Knox

He gave me his telephone number and invited GMP&A for a video and audio interview the next time I'm in NOLA.