Thursday, February 26, 2009

Against Backdrop of Carnival Revelry, New Orleans Loses Two Greats

Mardi Gras 2009 has drawn to a close. As the city of New Orleans collectively sweeps up the confetti and moves forward into the comparatively sober days that lay ahead, the time is right for relflection and testament. Sadly, our cultural fabric has been dealt a significant blow in the last week. Two great figures of the New Orleans musical scene have passed on. And as much as we mourn their passing, we smile to think that, if they had to go, they might've been pleased to do so in the midst of our most celebrational time of year.

On Tuesday, February 17th, Snooks Eaglin went into cardiac arrest. He died on Wednesday, the 18th. At 72 years old, Snooks was well-known as one of New Orleans' most talented and idiosyncratic rhythm & blues guitarists.

Please follow this link to Keith Spera's wonderful article about his life and career for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

And sadly, though perhaps fittingly, Miss Antoinette K-Doe passed away on Mardi Gras day after suffering a massive heart attack at her beloved Mother-In-Law Lounge. A true lover of Mardi Gras, Miss Antoinette was widow to legendary New Orleans rhythm-and-blues singer Ernie K-Doe. After he passed in 2001, she made it her personal mission to keep his memory alive through the shrine-like interior of her Claiborne Avenue lounge (named after Ernie's biggest hit), and frequent public appearances with a life-like mannequin replica whom she always addressed and presented by Ernie's name. A truly transcendent figure in the New Orleans musical community, she easily bridged the divide between old school New Orleans culture and the eccentric new blood inherent to the younger hipster community. She was there for us all. Miss Antoinette was 66 years old.

Please follow this link to Keith Spera's lovely article about Miss Antoinette in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Here at Preservation Hall, we had the great honor of filming Miss Antoinette and her beloved Ernie Statue for last year's "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," our music video for the song which appears on The Preservation Hall Jazz Band's 2005 release, The Hurricane Sessions. We post it here now in her honor...

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