Tuesday, 10 January 2012

This Weeks Featured Artist.....

Professor Longhair was born on December 19, 1918 in Louisiana. He made a living as a street hustler until he started to play piano seriously in his thirties. He taught himself how to play on a piano with missing keys that someone had thrown away, so his style became distinctive. Longhair first recorded in 1949 on the Star Talent label, creating four songs, including the first version of his signature song, "Mardi Gras in New Orleans."
After recuperating from a minor stroke, Professor Longhair came back in 1957 with "No Buts - No Maybes." 
In the 1960s Professor Longhair's career faltered. He became a janitor to support himself, and fell into a gambling habit.
To restore his standing, he appeared at the 1971 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival , and in 1973 played at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. His single visit to the UK, in 1978, was commemorated by The London Concert.
He influenced countless musicians, such as Fats Domino, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Henry Butler, Huey "Piano" Smith, Marcia Ball, Champion Jack Dupree, Jon Cleary, the Meters, and the Neville Brothers.
Longhair died in his sleep on January 30, 1980, from a heart attack.

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