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Unfinished Blues--: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man Hardcover – 1 Apr 2014
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Unfinished Blues...Memories of a New Orleans Music Man
Nephew started reading after tearing off the wrapper. Great stuff. Arrved fast, no problems. Great deal, great dealer.
Let me run some names by you: Joe Jones (and his hit "You Talk Too Much"), Barbara George (#1 single with "I Know"), Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Defayo Marsalis, Sonny and Cher, Dr. John ("The Night Tripper", Ornette Coleman. Recognize them? Well Battiste was a major part of all their careers!
He played in Joe Jones band in New Orleans and later produced Jones's huge vocal hit. Sonny Bono worked for him before he got hooked up with Cher and later Battiste was their musical director, produced their albums and wrote the score for their motion picture. Dr. John was just a kid when he hooked up with Battiste who gave him the "Night Tripper" image and first LP. Battiste founded the first African-American owned record label (APO) and recorded with the elder Marsalis and later worked with all the Marsalis kids. He moved to California with his fellow musicians and played with Coleman before working for Art Rupe's Specialty Records label. He composed over 75 songs!
And he had an interesting life too, saving many of the documents such as contracts, photos and the love letters he wrote to his wife. HE has donated all the papers to the Historic New Orleans Collection, and in return they have chosen his autobiography (written with the help of journalist Karen Celestan) to be the first they are publishing in a Musical Pioneer series.
I had the opportunity last month to meet and hear Battiste and he's got even more stories to tell. This book is a joy to read through and the breadth of artists covered is extensive.
Anyone into early rock and roll or New Orleans music will want to read this volume. (Oh, and did I mention the great photos??????)