Thursday, August 06, 2009

Louisiana Music Hall of Fame

Of interest to New Orleans music lovers - here's a story from the Times Picayune.
Allen Toussaint, Ernie K-Doe, Benny Spellman inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
by Keith Spera, Music writer, The Times-Picayune
Sunday August 02, 2009, 11:18 PM
The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inducted Allen Toussaint, Benny Spellman and the late Ernie K-Doe during a sweaty Sunday night ceremony at K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge.
Dozens of fans crammed into the cozy, eclectic lounge, whose exterior walls are decorated with an unofficial hall of fame of New Orleans musical characters.
Of the three inductees, only Toussaint could attend. The ever-colorful K-Doe died in 2001; his wife, Antoinette, who ran the Mother-in-Law Lounge as a shrine to her husband, passed away on Mardi Gras. His daughter accepted his certificate.
Spellman scored a 1962 hit with the Toussaint-penned "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)" and recorded another Toussaint classic, "Fortune Teller." He now resides in a nursing home in Pensacola, Flor.; his health does not allow him to travel.
So veteran rhythm & blues bandleader and musicians' union president "Deacon" John Moore traveled to Pensacola to personally deliver Spellman's induction certificate. A brief video shown Sunday documented the presentation in Florida.
The ever-dapper Toussaint wore a black suit and tie inside the stifling club. After performing "Mother-in-Law" and "A Certain Girl" -- songs he wrote and K-Doe recorded -- at a keyboard, he retreated to the fresh air outside. Fans quickly crowded around with items for Toussaint to sign, including New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival posters bearing his likeness. He accommodated all those who sought autographs and photos.
"For me and K-Doe to rub shoulders again after all these years is perfect," Allen Tousssaint said of his induction alongside the late Ernie K-Doe at the Mother-in-Law Lounge.
Back inside, Deacon John closed out the informal show with "Many Rivers to Cross," a gospel-tinged lament he often performs at funerals and as a conclusion to his show. Attendees then milled about the memorial garden adjacent to the club, munching on cake.
At present, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is a virtual hall of fame, existing only as a Web site. Organizers hope to one day erect a physical museum.
Until then, Hall of Fame organizers will hold their inductions wherever makes sense. The tiny barroom at the corner of North Claiborne and Columbus is a far cry from the prestigious venues Toussaint -- a 1998 inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- has come to inhabit in recent years. During the 2009 Grammy Awards telecast, he performed for millions of viewers alongside Lil Wayne and Terence Blanchard.
But he thought the setting for Sunday's ceremony was appropriate. He and K-Doe enjoyed a fruitful creative partnership in the 1960s, and Toussaint's own image is painted on an exterior wall of the Mother-in-Law Lounge. He referred to the lounge as "this historic place" where "so much love and heart and soul went into it," courtesy of Antoinette and Ernie K-Doe.
"It is so wonderful for Louisiana to validate its own," Toussaint said of his induction. "And for me and K-Doe to rub shoulders again after all these years is perfect."


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