Search | , RSS | ||
Garden District Book Shop, 6PM
From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM
Book publishing workshop
Dillrd University, 7PM
Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness
The Carver, 7PM
World soul jazz music
Loyola University, 7PM
Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees
St. Roch Tavern, 8PM
Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke
Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM
Blue Nile, 9PM
Interstellar future funk
Snug Harbor, 10PM
Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM
Botanical Garden, 10AM
Art exhibit and sale en plein air
Alex Beard Studio, 5PM
Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening
Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM
Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle
Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM
Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party
New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM
Coastal scientist discusses his work
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
The Birds and the Mavs go head to head
Allways Lounge, 7PM
Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night
2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM
Cocktails for a cause
Saenger Theatre, 8PM
The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds"
Catahoula Hotel, 8PM
Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!
BJs in the Bywater, 8PM
Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo
Bar Redux, 9PM
NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts
Howlin Wolf, 10PM
Bronx hip hop comes south
Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM
Live art in the air
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Mia Borders
New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM
Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM
Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume
Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM
8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden
The Republlic, 7PM
Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show
Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM
DIY rock, pop, punk show
Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM
Joy Theater, 8PM
The Carver, 9PM
NOLA brass all-stars
Gasa Gasa, 9PM
Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support
Allways Lounge, 10:30PM
Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers
One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM
80s dance party
The Emperor's New Prose
Ben Sandmel's Much-Anticipated Biography of Ernie K-Doe Unleashed on the R&B Legend's Loyal Subjects
FRENCH QUARTER -- The evening began with a simple question: "Do you want to see the statue?"
It was 5 o'clock at the New Orleans Historic Collection and propped up in a chair next to the speaking podium was a life-sized model, grinning widely with his head cocked jauntily to the side.
This was my introduction to Ernie K-Doe, the esteemed local R&B musician and subject of the Collection's most recent publication, Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans. Written by Ben Sandmel, the biography contains ten years’ worth of research, interviews and photographs and is the second book in the Collection’s Louisiana Musicians Biography Series.
While the event was billed as a dialogue and reception in celebration of the book’s release, the evening instead felt like a commemoration of K-Doe himself – which is probably just how he would have wanted it.
The K-Doe statue has become just one of the many eccentricities surrounding the memory of this New Orleans-born R&B singer and self-proclaimed "Emperor of the Universe". Yet despite the fact that he is most often remembered in popular culture for his grandiose personality and unconventional behavior, the event was equally an acknowledgement of his contributions to popular music and R&B, as well as to the New Orleans music community.
“Oftentimes when K-Doe is remembered, it’s for his eccentric personality. However, he really was an incredibly talented musician and just this powerful force that people, especially people from New Orleans, really identify with and want to celebrate.” explained Karen Celestan, the event moderator and co-author of Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man, the first book in the Biography Series.
“He is such an important figure in New Orleans culture as a personality as well as a person, and I think the nature of this event and the overwhelming reception people have had to the book just proves how central he still is to this community,” she said of the man who provided the smooth vocals to hits like "Mother-in-Law" and "Here Come the Girls."
The evening consisted of an open Q&A-style dialogue between Celestan and author Sandmel, covering a range of topics including K-Doe’s personal and professional life, his relationship with local musicians and the community, and the process of writing the book itself.
Present to discuss some of the more technical aspects of the musicianship was K-Doe's longtime producer Allen Toussaint, of whom he once quipped, “There wouldn’t be no Ernie K-Doe if there wasn’t no Allen Toussaint.”
Toussaint was also the author of the Emperor’s most popular song “Mother-In-Law”, the first song by a New Orleans artist to reach #1 on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts.
As he elaborated after the event, “People here in New Orleans take care of their own, and tonight is really an example of that. K-Doe loved the music business; he loved the music business more than anyone I ever met. This reception tonight, and all the people who came out here to celebrate him - it just seems right.”
The shear variety of supporters was evident as people mingled in the courtyard following the discussion, sipping wine and discussing their favorite K-Doe memories. Many involved the eponymous Mother-In-Law Lounge, the combination bar/nightclub/ music venue on North Claiborne which was opened by K-Doe’s wife Antoinette in 1995 so that the Emperor would always have a place to perform.
It was during one such visit to the Lounge that Sandmel began formulating the idea for the biography.
“One night we were sitting at Mother-In-Law and he turned to me and said, 'You’ve gotta write a book on me.'” Sandmel said. “I’m sure he would have had some critiques, I’m sure Antoinette would have had a few critiques…. If he was here tonight, he probably would want to know why it took 10 years for this to happen.”
Described by Treme co-creator Eric Overmyer as ‘one of the five essential books on New Orleans culture’, the biography which has emerged has been well worth the wait.
“I would like people to take away from the book that Ernie K-Doe was a major, top-tier musical talent, well respected by his peers," Sandmel said. "Sometimes the flamboyance and eccentricity of his later years makes people forget that he was always a serious, dedicated and skilled musician.”
From the writing and photography to the design of the book itself, Sandmel has compiled a fitting tribute to this New Orleans legend – one that does justice to his purpose by honoring all aspects of K-Doe’s outsized existence.
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz