Monday, December 06, 2010

Memories of the Mother In Law Lounge

They say bad news comes in threes, and so it would seem, with the threat of closure for the 100 Club (now hopefully lifted?). the end of Mark Lamarr's excellent Shake Rattle and Roll radio show, and, now, the final closure of the Mother in law Lounge in New Orleans.
The chance of seeing Ernie K-Doe at Jazzfest was a prime reason for me going to New Orleans for the first time in 1989, and in subsequent years up to his death in 2001. I went to the Lounge several times and it's sad that it is shutting down. It was a shrine to Ernie, with dozens of rather tacky K-Doe souvenirs, historic photos and his life sized mannequin taking pride of place. Under Antoinette K-Doe's energetic management it became quite a trendy night spot for a while, but once she died the end of the Lounge was an inevitability. I'm glad I and other Woodies made a pilgrimage there during out Stompin' trip in the spring.
In homage to Ernie and the Mother In Law Lounge, here are some of the K-Doe related photos I've taken over the years. First, here's K-Doe in typical slightly dishevelled pose at Jazzfest in 1989.
In 1998 John Howard and I paid a visit to the Mother in Law Lounge. We were the only customers, but Ernie put on a good show, featuring his own versions of the Jerry Butler songbook.
Here's John and I with K-Doe seated on his throne. Not for nothing did he call himself Emperor of the Universe.
Back in 1991 visitors to Jazzfest could take an evening riverboat trip on the Creole Queen. Here's Ernie in action. Other riverboat stars that year included Irma Thomas, Barbara George, Jessie Hill and Wayne Bennett.
And here's a photo of me with the great man, on board the Creole Queen.
On a trip to the Big Easy in 2000 I bumped into Ernie and Antoinette K-Doe in the French Quarter. Ernie was on his way to a TV interview. Antoinette took the photo.
Here's me at the Mother in Law Lounge in 2008.
At that time the club was doing well and attracting big crowds. Not sure who the band were, but the joint was jumping.
Here's the mannequin of Ernie in the lounge in 2008.
The outside of the lounge was covered with garish murals which really made the place stand in the somewhat run-down part of Claiborne St in Treme. Here's an example.
My last visit to the Lounge was in April of this year, along with the Woodies on the Stompin' 2010 trip. Here's local Woodie Armand St. Martin with two of the musicians who played with K-Doe before he became a star with his mammoth Mother in Law hit. Armand will be performing at the Lounge's final night next Sunday, December 12.
And here's a group photo of the Woodies at the Lounge.


At 7:29 pm , Blogger jaymccaddin said...

Great memories. I know Ernie and Antoinette appreciated all of us who came to see and support them.
A sad day for us and New Orleans.

Woodie - Jay McCaddin


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home