Snooks Eaglin (born Fird Eaglin, Jr.) passed on February 18, 2009, after prolonged illness at the age of 73. His unique fingerpicking style, combined with a repertoire so vast it garnered him the nickname "The Human Jukebox," made him one of the most influential bluesmen of the 20th century.
A New Orleans native who played guitar from the age of five, Snooks had a mischievous nature that earned him his nickname, which was taken from a rabble-rousing radio personality called Baby Snooks. Snooks got his first regular gigs with the Flamingoes in the early 1950s (alongside a 13-year-old Allen Toussaint).
In the early 1960s, he recorded several albums on the Imperial record label with a band that included James Booker, often recording material written by another musical legend, Dave Bartholomew.
After a recording hiatus, Snooks returned to the recording scene, appearing on the Wild Magnolias' first album, and he participated in recording sessions with Professor Longhair.
In the '80s, he joined the Black Top label and recorded several successful albums, also appearing on recordings by Henry Butler and Earl King. He made his final album, The Way It Is, in 2002 on Money Pit Records.
The man will be missed, but his music and legend live on.
Visitation and funeral service:
Friday, Feb. 27
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Howlin' Wolf (907 S. Peters Street), then to Providence Park Cemetery (8200 Airline Drive).
Performers will include the Hot 8 Brass Band, Deacon John, Irma Thomas, and Allen Toussaint.