A Unique Wake for a Unique Person

The City of New Orleans has lost one of its icons.

“Uncle” Lionel Batiste passed away July 8, 2012.

Mr. Batiste, or ” Unc”  as he was affectionately known, was a jazz and blues musician.

A member of the Treme Brass Band, he loved New Orleans

and New Orleans loved him right back.

I won’t write too much about his legacy.

Anyone wanting to know about this marvelous man can find some info here.

When Uncle Lionel was waked, he wasn’t exactly lying in state like most high-profile folks.

Mr. Batiste went out in quite a unique way…

even for a city that thrives on uniqueness.

Mr. Batiste was waked standing up while propped up against a faux street lamp.

musicians paying respect to Uncle Lionel.

Keith Spera of the Times-Picayune wrote:

In a send-off as unique as the man himself, Mr. Batiste wasn’t lying in his cypress casket. Instead, his body was propped against a faux street lamp, standing, decked out in his signature man-about-town finery.

He wore a cream sport coat, beige slacks, tasseled loafers, ornate necktie and matching pocket square, bowler hat and sunglasses. His bass drum and his Treme Brass Band uniform were positioned nearby.

His hands rested atop his omnipresent cane. The gold watch spanning his left palm was his trademark, representing his desire to always have “time on my hands.”

His head was cocked slightly to the left. He appeared ready to step from behind the velvet rope and saunter off to Frenchmen Street, where he reveled in dancing and drinking beer.

“He looks better today than when I saw him the Thursday before he died,” said Storyville Stompers tuba player Woody Penouilh.

“Heaven is agreeing with him.”

Rest In Peace Uncle Lionel.

Or better yet…

give’em one heck of a second line on the other side.



Remembering A Legend…THE BANDMASTER.

One year ago, we  lost an icon in our city.

Someone who touched the lives of thousands and changed the climate of our culture that is Mardi Gras.

A man so loved and respected not only by this city but, the entire region…the entire nation.

Today, I am honoring the legendary Mr. Edwin Harrell Hampton who passed away one year ago (July 21st.)

Mr. Hampton mentored thousands of musicians over the course of his 50+-year career leading the legendary “Marching 100.”

Arriving at St. Augustine High School in 1952, Mr. Hampton immediately set about starting what would become a world-renowned and hugely influential marching band, which he continued to direct until his retirement after Hurricane Katrina.

We love you Hamp…we miss you. Calling out my Purple Knights, I know you’re hereshow ’em the love.

Sounds of Saturday

Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, Afromamba’s post. On her site she was counting down her five favorite songs that had her hooked within the first 5 seconds of it.

One of the songs was, Somebody To Love by Queen.

Now, I have always been a fan of Queen for as long as I can remember. However, this weekend, I was really in  more of a “George Michael mood.”

But, I couldn’t get the damned song, Somebody To Love outta my head.

…and THEN it hit me.

Just like that Reese’s commercial…SOMEBODY put chocolate in my peanut butter….SOMEBODY put peanut butter on my chocolate!

Viola!..or as my nephew used to say, WAL-LA!

Now, Freddie is Freddie and anyone who knows Queen, knows what that means.

But, if ANYBODY was EVER  going to sing this song…

they found the right one when they found George….he sang the piss out of this song! Check the video out at 4:03…he even had Brian smiling!

Freddie would be proud George…very proud.