Professor Longhair, “Go to the Mardi Gras”
Today is the birthday of Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd, 1918-1980). While his records were not big national hits, his rhumba and Cuban-inflected brand of New Orleans rhthym and blues was hugely influential on the likes of Fats Domino, Dr. John, Huey “Piano” Smith, and Allen Toussaint. Long an industry legend, he was just beginning to find national fame when he passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 62.
And now his best-known tune “Go to the Mardi Gras”
For more on show biz history, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc