Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Professor Longhair's Legacy

This year, the name that our musical guests have most consistently mentioned is Professor Longhair. It began, well, at the beginning. Longhair, whose friends call him Fess, figured into the very first answer from the very first guest on the very first Music Inside Out.  

Pat Byrd
Pat Byrd
Credit Cedric A Ellsworth

Since then, others have conjured his name when describing the best of New Orleans music. As it turns out, Longhair — who died in 1980 — remains a guiding spirit to musicians and music lovers everywhere. So as a matter of duty and privilege, we're spreading the joy. 

This week's show is devoted to Henry Roeland Byrd, a.k.a Professor Longhair, and features some of his most  ardent musical disciples. We hear from David Torkanowsky, Reggie Scanlan, and Allen Toussaint. We're also talking with Longhair's daughter, Pat. As Longhair might say, we're gonna "Ball the Wall!"

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In 1982, Stevenson Palfi produced a landmark documentary titled Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together (IMDB), which chronicled three generations of New Orleans piano players. In this excerpt, we see both Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint.

 


Classified  Spotify | MOG
James Booker 

How Long Has That Train Been Gone?   MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: Rock 'n' Roll Gumbo

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most   Spotify | MOG
David Torkanowsky 
CD: Steppin' Out 

Mess Around  MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: Rock 'n Roll Gumbo

Big Chief   Spotify | MOG
Professor Longhair and Earl King
CD: Ultimate Mardi Gras 

Gone So Long
Professor Longhair 
CD: House Party New Orleans 

Whole Lotta Loving  Spotify | MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: Crawfish Fiesta

Her Mind is Gone
Professor Longhair 
CD: Ball the Wall! — Live at Tipitina's, 1978

Good Rockin' Tonight, Shake Rattle Roll, Sick and Tired, Roberta
Professor Longhair 
CD: Ball the Wall! — Live at Tipitina's, 1978

Tipitina   MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: Rock 'n' Roll Gumbo

Hey Little Girl 
Professor Longhair 
CD: Ball the Wall! — Live at Tipitina's, 1978

Ball the Wall aka 501 Boogie 
CD: Ball the Wall! — Live at Tipitina's 1978

(They Call Me) Dr. Professor Longhair MOG
CD: Rock 'n' Roll Gumbo

Baldhead  MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: The London Concert

Ascension Day
Live Instrumental 
Allen Toussaint 

Cry to Me  SpotifyMOG
Profesor Longhair 
Crawfish Fiesta 

Classified  Spotify | MOG
James Booker 

It's My Fault, Darling  Spotify | MOG
Professor Longhair 
CD: Crawfish Fiesta

Special thanks this week to: The Tipitina's Foundation, Steve Armbruster, Project Homecoming, and Allison Gouaux. Also, thanks to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation for their support.