WWOZ congratulates arranger/producer Wardell Quezergue on his 80th birthday!
Known as the "Creole Beethoven," Wardell led his own band (the Royal Dukes of Rhythm) and arranged for the likes of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair before forming Nola Records in 1964. That label became home to New Orleans legends like Eddie Bo, Robert Parker, Willie Tee, and Smokey Johnson. Since then, he's worked with a who's who of musicians including Paul Simon, Dr. John, B.B. King, and Willie Nelson to name just a few.
Wardell celebrated his birthday by stopping in to WWOZ for a chat with Bob French live on the air last Friday morning. He was in fine spirits and still flashed his sharp wit and warm smile. The next morning, Wardell was honored by the New Orleans Musicians Clinic with a luncheon attended by many friends including Dr. John.