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Happy 20th Birthday New Orleans Radio

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1897Tony Sbarbaro, Traditional jazz drummer and kazoo player from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a member of the legendary 'Original Dixieland Jazz Band', and considered by some to be the greatest of dixieland drummers. He worked in New Orleans with the Brunies family, and also played with band led by Ernest Giardina and Phil Napoleon. Tony died in New York City on October 29, 1969. (120)
1913Nathan Abshire, Cajun accordianist and vocalist from Gueydan, Louisiana. He was very important to the tradition of cajun music, and recorded a vast body of the music during his long career. He recorded the extremely successful 'Pine Grove Blues' in 1935, and starred in the PBS documentary 'Good Times Are Killing Me' in 1975. There are as many as six compilations that cover his distinguished career on Swallow Records, Ace Records and Arhoolie Records. Nathan died in Basile, Lousiana on May 13, 1981. (104)
1923Elmo Hope, Pianist in 'The Elmo Hope Trio'. Overshadowed throughout his life by his friends Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, he was a talented pianist and composer whose life was cut short by drugs. He died in 1967. (94)
1925Jerome 'Doc' Pomus, He found success as one of the finest white blues singers of the 1940s before becoming one of the greatest songwriters in the history of American popular music. The author of many of the most popular rock & roll songs of the 1960s, he composed "Save the Last Dance for Me,'' "This Magic Moment," "Sweets for My Sweet" and dozens of others, including Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" "Little Sister," and "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame." He died in 1991. (92)
1934Anna Moffo, Opera singer in the Metropolitan Opera. (83)
1942Frank Mills, Canadian-born composer and pianist Frank Mills scored a minor U.S. hit in 1972 with "Love Me, Love Me Love." It wasn't until the release of "Music Box Dancer" and its subsequent success in 1979, that MIlls became more of a household name. (75)
1944Bruce Johnston, Grammy Award winning songwriter - "I Write the Songs". (73)
1948Camile Baudoin, A guitarist and a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He's best know as a founding member of the long-time Louisiana band "The Radiatorr". He shared lead guitar duties with Dave Malone, and plays with or without a slide. Through high school and into college, he played 4 or 6 sets a night on Bourbon Street. Through the merger of two bands, the Rhapsodizer's and Road Apple, the Radiators were formed, the next 35 years or so were history. Camille now performs solo. (69)
1949Johnny Vidacovich, A drummer and a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He's been playing with Astral Project since the 1970's, a jazz quartet with James Singleton, Tony Dagradi and Steve Masakowski. He has been recognized by Big Easy Entertainment Awards, with praise in Offbeat, Downbeat and the New York Times as well as NPR's Jazz Profiles by Branford Marsalis. He has played with Bobby McFerrin, Stanton Moore, Charlie Hunter, Willy DeVille, Robert Walter and New Orleans greats Johnny Adams, Professor Longhair, James Booker, Alvin "Red" Tyler and Mose Allison. Vidacovich has also been faculty at Loyola University, School of Music. (68)


1940Algiers, Louisiana native, Memphis Minnie recorded Boy Friend Blues and Nothing In Rambling, in Chicago on this day.
1960New Orleans, Louisiana native, singer, guitarist and songwriter Lonnie Johnson plays at The Playboy Club in Chicago on this day.
1962 Jackie Gleason had two albums receive gold record honors on this day. They were "Music, Martinis and Memories" and "Music For Lovers Only".
1970 The Jackson 5 went to the top of the pop charts on this day with the single "The Love You Save".
1971 The Filmore East in New York City was closed on this day by its owner Bill Graham. The club was a spinoff of the famous Fillmore West in San Francisco.
1975 The famous pop duo of Sonny and Cher announced that would be getting divorced on this day.
1978 Alec Bigard, traditional jazz drummer from New Orleans, Louisiana died on this day. He was the brother of world-famous clarinetist, Barney Bigard and vocalist Emile. Throughout his career he played with the A.J. Piron Orchestra, Excelsior Brass Band, Maple Leaf Orchestra, Kid Rena's Jazz Band and Sidney Desvigne's Orchestra. He also played at famous Storyville clubs Tom Anderson's and Humming Bird Lounge. Alec died in New Orleans.
1980 Albany Leon 'Barney' Bigard, traditional jazz clarinetist from New Orleans, Louisiana died on this day. He studied under Luis Tio and Lorenzo Tio, Jr. He Played with Oak Gaspard, Albert Nicholas and King Oliver before joining Duke Ellington for fourteen years. In the 1950's he played with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, and in the 1960's and 1970's played with Barry Martin's Legends of Jazz. Barney came from another New Orleans musical family with both of his brothers, Emile and Alec, playing traditional jazz. His name appears on the copyright of Duke Ellington's wildly popular 'Mood Indigo'. Barney died in Los Angeles, California.
1981 Kim Carnes climbed to the top of the charts with her album "Mistaken Identity" on this day.
1987 Whitney Houston jumped in the pop charts with 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'.
2005 Chief Allison (Tootie) Montana, Big Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas passed away on this day at the age of 82. He was a Mardi Gras Indian for close to fifty years. He was a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He was one of the great masters of Mardi Gras Indian suit making. He was expert at making the suits associated with New Orleans' African-American neighborhood Carnival traditions. "Big Chief" Montana has received widespread national and international recognition for his mastery of Mardi Gras Indian traditions. He was the recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship Award and a Louisiana Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant. With the Yellow Pocahantas, he also performed at many festivals like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He was at New Orleans City Council special session held to review complaints of police misconduct during Mardi Gras when he was struck by a fatal heart attack. He died surrounded by supporters and other Indian chiefs.