Christmas Gumbo

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We hope you enjoy this week's program, "Christmas Gumbo":

We stopped by musisian Paul Sanchez's house this week, to talk about what Christmas was like growing up in New Orleans, who Mr Bingle was, and his favorite Crescent City holiday tracks.  Here he is performing a live version of his humorous "Drunk This Christmas."

We spoke with historian Dr Charles Chamberlain and restaurateur Frank Brigtsen about the New Orleans tradition of Reveillon -- a rich feast that would be served when families returned home after midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  It would feature gumbo, turtle soup, oysters, game, rich desserts, and other celebratory dishes.  Here's Frank's Reveillon menu at his restaurant Brigtsen's for the 2014 season.

Here's a website that gives links to many restaurants in New Orleans serving special Reveillon dinners in December -- including links to their menus!

Here's famous chef and author John Folse describing the Reveillon tradition: 

Dr Chamberlain also spoke with us about the famous Christmas Eve bonfires on the levees along the banks of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, to guide Papa Noel on his way.

Here's a great video showing the construction of one of the bonfires -- a lot of hard work goes into it, and you definitely should not try this at home!

And here's a slideshow of different views of the bonfires. 

(opening music bed) "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" - Leroy Jones
"Please Come Home For Christmas" - Aaron Neville
(music bed) "O Christmas Tree" - The Heritage Hall Jazz Band
(music bed) "The Little Drummer Boy" - The Heritage Hall Jazz Band
"'Zat You, Santa Claus" - Louis Armstrong
"Drunk This Christmas" - Paul Sanchez
(music bed) "Carol Of The Bells" - Wynton Marsalis
"Santa Let Me Call You A Cab" - Alex McMurray
"I Want You for Christmas" - Debbie Davis
(music bed) "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" - Charlie Miller
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" - Alex McMurray and Debbie Davis
(music bed) "We Three Kings" - Wynton Marsalis
(music bed) "We Three Kings" - Wynton Marsalis
(music bed) "The First Noel" - Charlie Miller
"Christmas Time is Here" - Kermit Ruffins
(music bed) "Barra De Navidad Blues" - The Heritage Hall Jazz Band
"Christmas Gumbo" - Art Neville
(music bed) "Deck The Hall" - Leroy Jones
(music bed) "Oh Tannenbaum" - Wynton Marsalis
"It's Christmas Time" - Clifton Chenier
"Christmas-Like-Ya-Just-Dont-Care" - Panorama Jazz Band
(music bed) "Sleigh Ride" - Wynton Marsalis
"Papa St Nick" - Beausoleil
(music bed) "O Holy Night" - Leroy Jones
"Doing the Santa Claus" - Huey 'Piano' Smith and the Clowns
"There's Always Tomorrow" (from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer") - Alex McMurray and Debbie Davis
(closing music bed) "Silver Bells" - The Heritage Hall Jazz Band


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.
Vocal tracks produced by Jorge Fuentes.
National distribution managed by Russell Shelton and Carmen Connor Post.
Live tracks recorded by George Ingmire
Web support by David Stafford.
Executive Producer is WWOZ’s General Manager David Freedman.

Special thanks to: 
Sally Young and Crystal Gross, for their voice talents;
WWOZ’s Dwayne Breashears, Scott Borne, Dee Lindsey, Lauren Del Rio, Leslie Molson, Beau Royster, and Maryse Dejean;
Rachel Lyons, Dolores Hooper, and the Archives of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation.
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