Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And now it's Antoinette

The bad news from New Orleans continued today with the death of Antoinette K-Doe - on Mardi Gras of all days. It's a tragedy for the city because not only did she single handedly keep Ernie's memory alive, but she transformed the Mother in Law Lounge from a run down neighbourhood bar into one of New Orleans' most popular night spots.
Antoinette was a larger than life character - almost as over the top as Ernie himself - and turned the Lounge into a shrine to her late husband. I visited the lounge in 1998 and saw Ernie perform a charismatic, if bizarre, tribute to Jerry Butler. The place was virtually empty,apart from a few musicians (including Jon Cleary) who drifted in late after performing; there were cockroaches in the toilet, and Ernie sat rather drunkenly on his throne as Antoinette bustled around keeping the place going and Ernie out of trouble. After his death she installed a life size mannequin of Ernie, K-Doe cushions and nic nacs and various other tribute items and the bar started to attract locals and visitors alike. I made it a point to visit on both my last two trips: in 2007 we chatted to C C Adcock, and in 2008 we went with some Melbourne DJs and danced to the oldies on the juke box, as well as enjoying a live band.

I am including some photos from my last visit showing me with some of the K-Doe memorabilia, the mannequin and a mural at the back of the lounge. The report of Antoinette's death on Nola.com mentions her role in restoring a Mardi Gras tradition of the Baby Dolls, and unless I'm mistaken Antoinette and friends made a brief appearance on stage as such at the Ponderosa Stomp. Perhaps a Woodie could confirm. Here's the report: http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/antoinette_kdoe_dies_on_mardi.html


At 8:16 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like the year has just begun, but we've already lost a few.
The message, more than ever, must be "See these people while you can".


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