Albert "Gentleman June" Gardner

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Published on: November 19th, 2010

June Gardner and the Fellas at JazzFest 2009

Photo by Carl & Peggy Backes

Update: Services for June Gardner will be at the Rhodes Funeral Home, located at 3933 Washington Avenue on December 2, 2010. The Musical Prelude begins at 9:00 a.m., services begin at 10 a.m.

Looking for photos of Albert "Gentleman June" Gardner on stage, there is only a quick glimpse of the man. Known by his friends and onstage as June Gardner, he was one of a small group of band leaders that lead from the back, behind the drums, or the "boom boom" as he would call them.

What made Gardner's music great were the swinging spaces between his rhythm that let collaborating musicians fill out the song. A driving beat kept the piece moving, and the influence of the band leader in the back is apparent, where the rhythm is as much a part of the song as the horns or organ.

Born in New Orleans in 1930, Gardner first came on the scene as the drummer for The Gondoliers, lead by guitarist Edgar Blanchard. In 1963, he played for Sam Cooke on Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club and Sam Cooke At The Copa

In the late 1960s, he recorded "Mustard Greens" and "99 Plus One" on the Hotline label, located at 725 N. Prieur St. with producer Wardell Quezergue. The band included the recently deceased Walter Payton on bass, pianist James Booker, and George Davis on guitar. Backing up Lee Dorsey, he played the kit on, “Working In The Coal Mine," which reached #5 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1966. It was produced by Allen Toussaint.

Gardner's son, Albert "Lil' June" Gardner Sr., passed away in 1999. He, like his father, had taken up the drums and played with Professor Longhair, The Neville Brothers and Irma Thomas.

In recent years, Gardner made an annual appearance at JazzFest with his band June Gardner and the Fellas.

This page will be updated with information about memorials and services.

To listen to clips of 99 Plus One, check out Tuff City.

Photos submitted by friends and admirers of Gentleman June Gardner


Gentleman June Gardner - It's Gonna Rain

Lee Dorsey - Working In The Coal Mine

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Jennifer, thanks for the great writing and visuals on this blog post. Please don't wait to do another one.

Saturday midnight to Sunday 3am

Hi Jamie!

Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. We've also started getting some user-submitted photos as well, and I've posted them on the page.

Here is link to picture on my flickr blog

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