Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ponderosa Stomp conference sessions

Continuing my series of photos from my US trip, here is a selection from the conference sessions which took place over two days at the Ace Hotel. The first one covered Bourbon Street in the 1960s and featured Meters bassist George Porter Jr and producer Wacko Wade.
Gospel artists James Williams, Andrew Jackson and Al Taylor talked about the Rosemont record label.
In the third session Deacon John Moore featured in a lively session on South Rampart Street. He told me his 'Deacon' name was given to him by his band members because he looked like a deacon and was derived from Roy Brown's reference in Good Rocking Tonight.
Next up featured an interview with Mary Jane Hooper, the 'Queen of New Orleans Funk', who recorded with Allen Toussaint and Eddie Bo.
Soul singer Winfield Parker talked about his career and touring with Little Richard. 
Interviewed by John Broven, Willie West spoke about his swamp pop background in Raceland, La, and his later role as singer with the Meters.
The panel for the Ram Records of Shreveport story included Margaret Lewis and her husband Alton Warwick, and Bobby Page of swamp pop group the Riff Raffs. There were memories of the Louisiana Hayride, the Lonesome Drifter, Eager Boy and Johnny Winter.
The final session on the first day included the Ragin' Cajun Doug Kershaw.
Day two's conference began with a John Broven interview with Sam Montalbano, the man behind the Montel and Michelle labels. Artists he recorded included John Fred and Dale and Grace.
Next came a discussion of the Norton record label and its founder Billy Miller with a panel which included his co-founder Miriam Linna, Deke Dickerson and Michael Hurtt. Miriam recalled discovering Hasil Atkins, the artist which first put Norton the map.
Evie Sands recorded the originals of songs such as Take Me For a Little While and Angel Of The Morning, which became hits for other people. Here she is with Sheryl Farber.
'Make It Sound Like A Train' was the title of the session with drummer Charles Connor, the man who created the drum style on Little Richard's Keep A Knockin'.
Red Kelly introduced a retrospective on guitarist Reggie Young, whose work can be heard on dozens of soul records recorded in Memphis, including many by James Carr, O V Wright, Joe Tex and Solomon Burke.
Carla and Vaneese Thomas talked about their father Rufus Thomas, recalling his early career as a radio DJ in Memphis.
Gary US Bonds was hilarious in his interview. He said he hated the name US Bonds until the first cheque arrived. The call and response theme was taken from Cab Calloway, he said, and inspired Dion's Runaround Sue.
Here's one of Gary with Carla and Vaneese Thomas.
Finally, here are some of me with Evie Sands, Mary Ann Hooper and Willie West.
Nick Cobban


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