Three Keys is the intimate music venue inside Ace Hotel New Orleans, a lively social hub with events nearly every night of the week — live jazz, DJs, pop-up shops, salons and creative collaborations of all kinds.
We're video streaming live from the 2017 Ponderosa Stomp Music History Conference on Thursday, October 5 and Friday, October 6. The Ponderosa Stomp celebrates the unsung heroes of American music and boasts "3 days of the best music you've never heard of."
The conference features musicians, historians and musicologists tackling all kinds of music history topics.
Please note this is a video stream only and will not be broadcast on the radio. Full info on the conference available at the Ponderosa Stomp website.
10 – 10:45a The Man Behind the Montel & Michelle Labels: An Oral History with Sam Montalbano
Featuring Moderator John Broven
Sam Montalbano, known in the music business as Sam Montel, has done it all. He ran Deep South Studio in Baton Rouge and worked with artists such as The Boogie Kings, Sugar Boy Crawford, and Slim Harpo. He owned the Montel and Michelle record labels, putting out regional and national hits such as Dale & Grace’s No. 1 “I’m Leaving It Up To You.” As a concert promoter, he brought national and international acts to Baton Rouge, including Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and The Who. Montalbano will discuss his record labels and the South Louisiana music industry with John Broven, author of South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous and Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.
10:55 – 11:50a Last Train from Kicksville: A Tribute to Billy Miller of Norton Records
This panel will honor the late Billy Miller, described by David Fricke as “a collector and scholar of the raw, fundamental and unapologetic in rockabilly, R&B and garage punk who shared his knowledge and passions with the exuberant, addicting force of a true fan.” Miller, with Miriam Linna, founded Norton Records, which has been releasing important and often forgotten music for over 25 years, and was a heavy influence on the Ponderosa Stomp. Linna was the first drummer for the Cramps and later played with Miller in a band called the A-Bones. She is joined on the panel by James Marshall, a former New York Times critic and former owner of Lakeside Lounge in New York and Circle Bar in New Orleans; Todd Abramson, WFMU DJ and the former talent booker at Maxwell’s, the famed Hoboken, New Jersey nightclub; and Deke Dickerson, a musician, writer, and music historian. Musician and musicologist Michael Hurtt will moderate.
12:35 – 1:20p Evie Sands Oral History
Featuring Moderator Sheryl Farber
Evie Sands made some of the finest blue-eyed soul singles of the '60s. A cult figure of vintage pop, Sands was born in Brooklyn but came of age in Los Angeles, recording “Take Me For a Little While” and “Angel of the Morning” before they became hits. She retired from performing in 1979 to concentrate on writing and producing, but waged a triumphant comeback in the late '90s and has been at it ever since. Sands will be interviewed by the Grammy-nominated producer, writer and editor Sheryl Farber.
1:30 – 2:15p
Make it Sound Like a Train: An Oral History with Charles Connor
Featuring Moderator David Kunian
As the drummer in Little Richard’s band the Upsetters, Charles "Keep A Knockin’" Connor is credited with introducing the hugely influential "Choo Choo Train" style – successive eighth notes with a loud back beat – into the rock ‘n’ roll lexicon. He went on to drum behind legends such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and James Brown, who credited Connor with being “the first to put the funk in the rhythm.” Fittingly, his drumsticks are on display at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Connor, a New Orleans native, was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010. He will be interviewed by David Kunian, the Curator of Music at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
2:25 – 3:10p
Forever Young: An Oral History with Reggie Young
Featuring Moderator red kelly
You may not know his name, but you know his music: Reggie Young has appeared on over 100 chart hits, in multiple genres, in a career spanning more than 60 years. A guitar great, he appeared on the Louisiana Hayride before moving to Memphis and recording with Hi Records’ Willie Mitchell. In 1964, when the Beatles tapped Bill Black as an opener on their U.S. tour, Young, who was Black’s guitarist, left the studio for the road. He went on to became a top session man in Memphis and then Nashville, playing on hits for Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, and Dusty Springfield, among many others. Music archaeologist and blogger red kelly will talk to Young about his extraordinary and influential life in music.
3:20 – 4:05p
Walking the Dog: Growing Up with the “World’s Oldest Teenager” Rufus Thomas
Featuring Carla and Vaneese Thomas and Moderator Andria Lisle
Carla and Vaneese Thomas, stars in their own right, will discuss growing up with their father, Memphis R&B and funk pioneer Rufus Thomas, “the World’s Oldest Teenager.” The elder Thomas had hits with “Walking the Dog” and “Bear Cat,” both recorded with Sam Phillips, as well as hits on Stax Records such as “The Funky Chicken.” Carla Thomas, whose first duet partner was her late father, has been hailed as the Queen of Memphis Soul since 1961, when her sweet, yearning ballad “Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)” became a pop and R&B smash. One of the first essential signings at Stax, she served up a string of hits throughout the ‘60s including “Let Me Be Good To You” and “B-A-B-Y.” Vaneese Thomas cut two sizable R&B hits of her own in 1987, “Let’s Talk It Over” and “(I Wanna Get) Close To You).” Her 2016 album “The Long Journey Home” was widely acclaimed. Writer, curator, and musicologist Andria Lisle moderates.
4:15 – 5p I Wanna Holler: An Oral History with Gary U.S. Bonds
Featuring Moderator Todd Abramson
Gary Anderson, better known as Gary U.S. Bonds, will look back at his storied and pioneering career. In 1960 he recorded his first single “New Orleans,” which became a national hit. He followed up with the even bigger hit “Quarter To Three,” which inspired Dion and the Belmonts’ “Runaround Sue.” After years of touring with artists like B.B. King and recording additional albums, Gary left his record label but continued to perform. A chance meeting in New Jersey led him back into the studio in 1981 to record the successful “Dedication” album with Bruce Springsteen & Steven Van Zandt. The record included the hit "This Little Girl," a song Springsteen wrote for Bonds, which brought him back into the spotlight. Bonds will be interviewed by WFMU DJ Todd Abramson, the former talent booker at Maxwell’s, the famed Hoboken, New Jersey nightclub.