Snooks Eaglin, 1936-2009

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Published on: February 18th, 2009
Photo of Snooks Eaglin
Snooks Eaglin

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.

Photo of George Porter, Jr., Snooks Eaglin, and Shannon Powell by Pat Jolly
Photo of George Porter, Jr., Snooks Eaglin, and Shannon Powell by Pat Jolly

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.



One of my all time favorites. He will be sorely missed.

A True Pillar of support for the Magical Musical Facade we all worship has fallen. Thank you Snooks for all of the memories!

Having been present numerous time when Snooks came in to close out the membership drives at WWOZ. My fondest memory was the Fall 04 drive when we decided on Tuesday afternoon that the closing show would be held on the "Back Porch" of the main house in the old studio compound in Armstrong Park. We pulled the funk band Brotherhood of Groove to be our "house" band behind Snooks. Of course Billy Delle was the host. and Snokks was joined a various points in the show by Eddie Bo, George Porter Jr, John Boutte', Big Chief Alfred Doucett, James Andrews. It truly was a "rent" party and 3 plus hours of great, great music and fun. My live has been forever made better for having known Snooks, may his music be celebrated forever and . . . . .

May All Your Blues Be On The Radio....


Yeah you rite Big D. Some of my favorite 'OZ moments were listening to Snooks on Billy Delle's show. It just didn't get any better than that.

Snooks, thanks for all of the great music you gave us over the years. RIP.

And Billy Delle, we miss you terribly and hope to hear you back on the air soon.

Man! One of the best and most unique ever! The way he could say "yeah!!!" We'll miss you Snooks.

I let my friend Bill Wax know about Snooks' passing and on Friday he did wonderful 90 minute tribute to Snooks on BB kings' Bluesville.

Thank you Bill for sharing a favorite son of New Orleans with your audience.

May All Your Blues Be On The Radio.... D


Not just some old guy with a guitar. We have truly lost a good old soul. I never left his shows without a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. (Thank you Larry). Snooks, rest in peace, God will take care of you!
When's the second line?

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