We all have at least one friend who is a complete record geek, an aficionado of Americana, or a passionate purveyor of obscure music. For some, this love of music grows into something much bigger than they could ever imagine. New Orleans’ own Dr. Ike is a perfect example -– a man whose quest for music has made him into a walking encyclopedia of American pop culture: rock and roll, soul, R&B, swamp pop, jazz, cajun, zydeco, garage rock, blues, and more.
Not only is Dr Ike an encyclopedia – he’s also one of the main people responsible for the Ponderosa Stomp, a music festival that celebrates the unsung heroes of American music. This week we hear how his quest for the perfect wedding band led him to create a New Orleans institution, and brought him to Lincoln Center and beyond. Plus we have a set from Eddie Daniels, recorded live at the 2013 Ponderosa Stomp!
The Ponderosa Stomp is held at irregular intervals in New Orleans (not every year), and features a huge lineup of artists you may never have heard of. And whether you’re thinking of making the trip to New Orleans, or just curious about the musicians we’re talking about in this show, we cannot recommend highly enough the website of the Ponderosa Stomp.
It features a comprehensive list of Stomp artists through the years with accompanying biographies (and in many cases videos), and much, much more. And in many cases, the Ponderosa Stomp website will be the most authoritative and comprehensive source for a particular artist.
Once Dr Ike gets going in our interview, the names of famous, should-be-famous, and infamous musicians start flying — and just in case if you’re intrigued in learning more about them, we’ve compiled a list of some musicians mentions or featured in this episode of New Orleans Calling:
Freddie Roulette is a blues lap steel guitarist
Scotty Moore was Elvis Presley’s guitarist
DJ Fontana was Elvis Presley’s drummer
Sonny Burgess is a rockabilly legend
Guitarist James Burton played for both Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley
Guitarist Jody Williams played with Howlin Wolf, Bo Diddley, Otis Rush, and many others
Othar Turner was a fife-and-drum blues musician.
Classie Ballou and Family Band
Willie Tee was a New Orleans R&B star from the 1960s onward — and he also formed the Gaturs, a psychedelic funk outfit… and worked with Dr John, Mardi Gras Indians, and many others…. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Scott Bomar of The Bo Keys. who keeps alive the classic R&B sound of Memphis.
Texas soul man Roy Head‘s “Treat Her Right” was a huge hit in 1965 .
Tami Lynn is one of the great voices of New Orleans, and has also performed as a backing singer with the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, Dr John, and many others. She was also a member of the legendary AFO Executives. Her history is too large to summarize here, and well worth exploring.
Soul legend William Bell.
The late, great “Creole Beethoven,” Wardell Quezergue
“Mac” is New Orleans shorthand for Mac Rebennack, aka Dr John. (You’ll have to search for him under “Mac Rebennack” on the Ponderosa Stomp website!)
New Orleaans saxophonist Plas Johnson played on the themes for The Pink Panther, Mission: Impossible theme, Peter Gunn, The Odd Couple, and many hits by the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Tom Waits, the Monkees, Frank Zappa, and the list goes on...
The late Earl Palmer was one of the greatest New Orleans drummers of all time, and even a brief scroll through his Wikipedia entry is awe-inspiring.
Herb Hardesty was one of the original rock n roll saxophonists and trumpeters, and is still active today.
Piano player Salvador Doucette was an early member of Dave Bartholomew’s groundbreaking group of musicians.
Bassist Chuck Badie was another member of the AFO Executives, and also played in Sam Cooke’s band.
THIS WEEK’S TRACK LISTING:
Lil Buck – “Monkey in a Sack” (music bed)
Freddie Roulette – “End of the Blues” (music bed)
Dale Hawkins – “Suzie Q” (music bed)
Lazy Lester – “Ponderosa Stomp” (music bed)
Roger & the Gypsies – “Pass the Hatchet” (music bed)
Larry DeRieux – “Chicken Session”
The Gaturs – “Gatur Bait” (music bed)
Roy Head – “Treat Her Right” (music bed)
Plas Johnson – “Dungaree Hop” (music bed)
Earl Palmer – “Drum Village (Part 1)” (music bed)
Carol Fran – “A Woman In Love”
Barbara Lynn – “Shed So Many Tears” (music bed)
Barbara Lynn – “Lose a Good Thing”
Bo Diddley – “Aztec” (music bed)
? And the Mysterians – “96 Tears” (music bed)
Archie Bell and the Drells – “Tighten Up” (music bed)
Ernie Vincent – “Dap Walk”
Irma Thomas – “Don’t Mess With My Man”
Dave Bartholomew Big Band – “I’m Walkin'”‘ (music bed)
Allen Toussaint – “Whirlaway”
Jimmy Anderson – “I’m a King Bee” (music bed)
Joe Barry – “I’m a Fool to Care” (music bed)
Tommy McLain – “Tennessee Blues” (music bed)
Tommy McLain – “Before I Grow Too Old”
Lil Bob and the Lollipops – “I Got Loaded” (music bed)
Brenton Wood – “The Oogum Boogum Song” (music bed)
Eddie Daniels – “Hurry Baby”/”Opportunity”/”Go To The Mardi Gras”
Archie Bell and the Drells – “Tighten Up” (music bed)
NEW ORLEANS CALLING is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City.
Host, writer, editor, interviewer, audio engineer, intrepid field recorder, and co-producer is George Ingmire.
Dave Ankers is the producer.
Melanie Merz is the supervising producer.
National distribution managed by Russell Shelton and Carmen Connor Post.
Web support by David Stafford.
Executive Producer is WWOZ’s General Manager David Freedman.
Special thanks to:
Sally Young and Melanie Merz for their voice talents.
Dr Ike and the staff of the Ponderosa Stomp.
Photo courtesy Ponderosa Stomp.