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When Preservation Hall Was New(s)

Panorama Jazz Band
Panorama Jazz Band at Preservation Hall. Photo provided by the band.
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Preservation Hall is the kind of venerable institution that seems to have been around forever, but of course there was a time when it was new. Its founding in 1961 as a home for traditional jazz attracted national attention, including the video clip below, which comes to us via the magic of YouTube and is definitely worth a look. It's a 2min 36sec story from the Huntley-Brinkley Report, NBC's national evening newscast back in that day.

Co-founder Allan Jaffe is quoted at length, noting along the way that "What we're trying to do here is just present the music the way the the men want to play it." And the Kid Thomas Band performs, with George Lewis on clarinet.

The clip is narrated by David Brinkley, who is careful to point out that at Preservation Hall "There are no drinks and no strippers."

I believe that the correct name for the program is the Huntley-Brinkley Report and not, as the video's title says, The Brinkley New Hour. In any case, it ran from 1956 - 1970 and was hugely successful and a major voice of mainstream American culture. In the mid-1960s, the program "brought in more advertising revenue than any other on television... The anchors [Chet Huntley and David Brinkley] gained great celebrity, and surveys showed them better known than John Wayne, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or the Beatles." --Wikipedia

 

 

For a selection of videos about New Orleans music and culture from around the web, check out our YouTube Channel's "Favorites" playlislt.

--Stafford

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