Remembering a New Orleans Legend:
Antoinette K-DoeNBC Nightly News with Brian WilliamsFeb. 24:
Excerpt|00:49|Antoinette K-Doe, widow of rhythm & blues singer Ernie K-Doe, died on Mardi Gras day at the age of 66. In an interview conducted shortly after Hurricane Katrina...
Antoinette K-Doe, the wife of New Orleans famous singer Ernie K-Doe, died of an apparent heart attack at her Mother-in-Law Lounge early Mardi Gras Day, according to family members.
Local musicians have been passing through the lounge all morning to offer condolences.
Friends said it was fitting that K-Doe passed away on a holiday she loved so much and family said they plan to honor her memory by having the celebration today - something they say she would have wanted.
She was 66 years old.
Mourners file past the body of the Emperor of the World, Ernie K-Doe, Mother-in-Law, on July 12, 2001. K-Doe is the first rhythm and blues singer to be laid in state in New Orleans and the first whose memorial services were held at the city's historic Gallier Hall.
In 1994, Ernie K-Doe opened the world-famous Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge at 1500 N. Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of K-Doe's main reasons for opening the Lounge was to provide a place for New Orleans' living legends to come and perform. Don't be surprised if you find yourself rubbing elbows with some of the greats of the Crescent City when you visit the Mother-in-Law Lounge.
The Lounge is a shrine to the immortal legend of K-Doe. The walls are adorned with photographs and artwork of K-Doe throughout his life. Many pictures of K-Doe's family and friends can be seen as well.
When K-Doe was still with us, it wasn't uncommon to have the Emperor himself greet you at the door. Today, Antoinette continues to keep alive the warm, friendly, hospitable environment that K-Doe's fans have come to expect. You are nothing if not well-taken-care-of at the Mother-in-Law Lounge. Have a drink and play the jukebox, which has one of the best selections you can find of classic New Orleans R&B artists (including a great many K-Doe hits!).
The Mother-in-Law Lounge is located at the edge of New Orleans' historic Tremé neighborhood on the corner of N. Claiborne and Columbus:
Ernie K-Doe started his singing career in his church choir and went on to sing with such spiritual groups as the Golden Choir Jubilees of New Orleans and the Divine Traveler. He was inspired by such artists as Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and Eddie Jones, known to all as Guitar Slim.
At the age of 15, while performing at an amateur night show, he was heard by the manager of the legendary Flamingos. His first recording was the also legendary Chess Record Company with "I Only Have Eyes for You".
Ernie K-Doe had a strong desire to perform, and did with such enthusiasm that he made audiences scream for more. He says he enjoys singing because it gives him a feeling of happiness and joy. This goes back to the days when he felt that way with the spriritual choirs.
Early in his career, he practiced with Joe Tex at the Dew Drop Inn, which is the reason they have similar styles in dancing with the microphone, falling down, and rolling off the stage. He says he never has to move when performing, because he never could keep still, although he never had any dancing lessons. He considers the stage to be a ring and remarks, "If you don't get out there and move they would kill you." Having traveled all over the world, he recalls his best times at the Club Lingerie in Hollywood and the Apollo Theater in New York City. Ernie K-Doe has sung at the Apollo Theater in New York eight times, the Howard Theater in Washington, DC three times, the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia six times, the Regal Theater in Chicago twelve times and Carnegie Hall in New York one time.
K-Doe has recorded such hits as "A Certain Girl", "T'ain't It the Truth", "Come On Home", "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta", "Later for Tomorrow", just to name a few. His biggest recording was "Mother-in-Law", which sold millions. K-Doe says it will last to the end of the Earth, "because someone is always going to get married."
When "Mother-in-Law" was out on the charts, K-Doe was considered one of the Big Five, which included James Brown, Lil Willie John, Joe Tex and Jackie Wilson. Of the Big Five, only K-Doe and James Brown are still "doin' it".
Ernie K-Doe says he is going to bring New Orleans back and in the process, himself. For the last few years, K-Doe has been on the path to sobriety after living in an alcoholic haze for years. The singer, who rose to fame in 1961, when his "Mother-in-Law" was the No. 1 song in the nation, is back on the job, sober and enthusiastic.
And he wants to restore New Orleans to the glory of its heyday—when it was feeding ground for such greats as Fats Domino, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones, Little Richard, Barbara George and many others.
To do it, K-Doe opened Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge at 1500 N. Claiborne Avenue and he performs with an alternating cast of musicians. To his mind, the club is a place where musicians can help one another just like in the old days.
By the way, Ernie K-Doe was right about the song "Mother-in-Law". It will last to the ends of the Earth, or at least for a while. Ernie got married in January of 1996 to Antoinette Fox, and her mother was watching over the ceremony! So look out, K-Doe, and look out, world! K-Doe is still doing what he does best: Entertain!
In 1997, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation recognized Ernie K-Doe with its prestigious Pioneer Award. The award was presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and K-Doe brought the house of American musical legends to its feet with his performance of "Mother-in-Law".
In 1999, Ernie K-Doe was the first person to be honored with the Big Easy Entertainment Awards' Heritage Award.
The New Orleans Music Hall of Fame inducted Ernie K-Doe in 1995. The award was presented to K-Doe at his New Orleans club, the Mother-in-Law Lounge.
The State of Louisiana inducted Ernie K-Doe into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 1997.
Each year, a select few Louisiana artists are honored with a Legend Award, presented by the South Louisiana Association. K-Doe received this distinction in 1999 at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.
February 25, 2009
Remembering a New Orleans Legend: Antoinette K-Doe [NBC Nightly News Excerpt - 00:49: 24.2.09] *Clip expires five days from airing on NBC News Site!
James Sleeping Giant Winfield party, open mic portion
Miz Antoinette says Hi! from the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law lounge.
1997 extended promo (music video) for the N.O. "W.B." TV affiliate. Included are some of the WB stars at the time plus local dignitaries like Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe, the Olympia Brass Band, and more...
Sonny Landreth + Eric Johnson: The Milky Way Home [Continental Club - Austin, TX: August 7, 2008] for Liz Van Den Berg
Sonny Landreth and Eric Johnson
The Milky Way Home
Continental Club, Austin Texas
August 7th, 2008
This is my first video of Drums on Expert. I know i'm still not that great, and i need work, i just figure i'd show all my subscribers how i'm coming along with the drums.
Tell me how i did, and thanks for watching!
February 24, 2009
ERNIE K-DOE: Here Come The Girls + *ANTOINETTE K-DOE [DECEASED TODAY - MARDI GRAS, 2009] SHE DIRECTED REBIRTH OF THE 'M-I-L' LOUNGE] FOR KAREN FORD
February 17, 2008
Ernie K-Doe--R&B pioneer
ANTOINETTE K-DOE [DECEASED MARDI GRAS DAY, 2009],
POST-KATRINA New Orleans
'Here Come The Girls'
from Boots TV ad
video: Jonathan King
Antoinette saved Ernie along with her family.She took Ernie apart, put the pieces in a garbage bag and dragged him upstairs
NEW ORLEANS—When the floodwater of Hurricane Katrina engulfed the legendary Mother-In-Law Lounge and the National Guard rescued Antoinette K-Doe, she worried about what she had left behind.
She didn’t want to abandon her mother or her husband, R&B pioneer Ernie K-Doe, both interred down the street at St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. She hoped to save a career’s worth of photographs of Ernie, who died in 2001, and had spent three days carrying them upstairs to her apartment above the bar.
And she could hardly bear to leave Ernie’s mannequin, a macabre re-creation to some but a protector to Antoinette. To frighten off thieves, she dressed him in one of his flamboyant suits and sat him in a closet with her shotgun in his lap.
“People said, `Did you bring Ernie?’ Antoinette said, `No, I left him. They’re rescuing live bodies, not statues.’”
After living at a Boy Scout camp in Atlanta for about a month, Antoinette returned to her native New Orleans. The lounge, a haven for musicians since it opened in 1994, was a wreck. Five and a half feet of water had left it covered in mold and muck and God knows what else in the environs below the I-10 overpass where victims fled for safety. Her clothes, the bar, all of the bar stock, the kitchen equipment used to feed the participants after their weekly Thursday jam sessions in the back room and the stage where Ernie played, were unchallengeable.Antoinette K-Doe, wife of the late Ernie K-Doe, reflects on the rebuilding process after Hurricane Katrina at the Mother-In-Law Lounge in New Orleans
“I feel very lucky that I saved all my pictures,” said Antoinette, 65. “I knew we had to bring his band’s place back. But I didn’t know how, didn’t know where the money was coming from.”
It came from Hands On New Orleans, one of the volunteer organizations at the forefront of the rebuilding effort.
Among those who contributed to its cause was R&B star Usher. His donation was not directly used to refurbish the Mother-In-Law Lounge, but he visited the place one Sunday in May, and Antoinette recalls him saying, “I have to get you open.”
Hands On was also aided by its partners, the Tipitina’s Foundation and Sweet Home New Orleans.
The lounge’s grand reopening, complete with red carpet, was Aug. 30, 2006, a year and a day after Katrina made landfall. Volunteers from Hands On chapters in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Atlanta were invited, along with musicians and a representative from the mayor’s office.
“I told everyone I was going to fine them $20 if they talked about the storm or politics,” Antoinette said. “We didn’t make much money; it was an open bar.”
She’s still struggling to make a living and was hospitalized in February, but Antoinette hopes Ernie is on the verge of a rebirth similar to his city’s.
The peak of his success came in 1961, when his “Mother-In-Law” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart. According to Billboard, K-Doe’s was the 14th African-American single to hit No. 1 in the rock `n’ roll era (post-1955). He beat out Motown’s first, “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes in September 1961.
A mannequin of the late Ernie K-Doe still on display at the Mother-In-Law Lounge in New Orleans
Outside of New Orleans, Ernie’s work had been virtually forgotten until last Christmas, when his 1970 track “Here Come the Girls” was chosen for a TV campaign for Boots, the leading health and beauty retailer in the United Kingdom. The spot can be found on YouTube, and in December the song debuted at No. 71 on Billboard’s Top 75 in the U.K. It had been 46 years since K-Doe’s only other appearance on the British charts, when “Mother-In-Law” reached No. 29 in `61.
Antoinette plans to re-release “Here Come the Girls” in the United States with Ernie’s “Children of the World,” perhaps on vinyl. Ernie also had two recordings left in the vault when he died, but she intends to honor his wishes and wait 10 years after his passing before marketing them.
Antoinette said Boots knew little about Ernie when it picked the song.
“Boots was not aware I had a statue of Ernie. They were amazed when they heard about the statue, that I’m keeping his legacy alive,” she said. “What they did enhanced it.”
Antoinette was a devoted fan of Ernie’s when she met him while working at a New Orleans bar. He was on skid row, battling alcoholism, and she tried to help him overcome his addiction.
“I’d ask him to come share lunch with me, we’d sit and talk. We became close friends,” she said. “He was very proud. I helped him gain strength. He could rely on me.” They dated for 15 years before marrying in 1995.
When he passed, it was not Antoinette’s idea to craft a statue of Ernie. That came from a fan, about 30 years old, whom Ernie had helped to kick drugs and find a house and a job.
“He wanted to do something for the lounge and said, `It’s going to be a half-bust,’” Antoinette said.“I didn’t like half-busts. I didn’t understand why half-busts didn’t have arms. So he said, `I’ll do a statue.’ I didn’t want to turn him down a second time.”
The mannequin was put together from scavenged pieces. Pictures of Ernie were used to carve his facial features. The face was white, so they took the head outside the bar and spray-painted it, trying to match Ernie’s skin tone.
Ernie’s brother insisted they add a bump on the left side of his cheek from where he’d been hit by a baseball bat when they were kids.
Antoinette styled the hair just as she had done for Ernie. They took the hands to a nail shop to get them manicured.“One of his best friends came. He went to the bathroom, (saw the statue) and almost passed out,”
Antoinette said.“That’s when we knew we had it.”
Jackie Hughes, daughter of Antoinette K-Doe, peers out the front door of the Mother-In-Law Lounge in New Orleans, February 17, 2008
Ernie still gets around—his statue, that is. He has been to football games and parties at his tomb every All Saints Day. Friend, John Blanchard takes him along when he sings at weddings and bachelor parties, propping the statue up when he performs the Allen Toussaint-penned “Mother-In-Law.” Ernie was to have been in this year’s Mardi Gras parade, but Antoinette’s illness scuttled that.
With Katrina approaching in late August 2005, Antoinette saved Ernie along with her family. She took Ernie apart, put the pieces in a garbage bag and dragged him upstairs. She took refuge with her granddaughter, then 15, her mother’s sister and a female tourist who had been in a car accident and had nowhere else to go.
Antoinette said she didn’t panic while they waited for rescue. But the situation got dicey when martial law was declared and the women heard men below, trying to break into the bar to steal the liquor.
She said she got out the shotgun her brother-in-law had given her, opened the window and fired over their heads, trying not to hit people above on the I-10 bridge.
“I said, `You’re not coming here. There’s more bullets,’” she said. “They scattered like blackbirds.”
Presumably the shotgun is still at the ready. The lounge is just a few blocks from Tent City, where the homeless have gathered under the interstate. Patrons must be buzzed in. Those who want to take a cab from downtown to the bar in the neighborhood of Treme, a once-proud black business district, might have to search for a willing driver.
Antoinette remains vigilant, guarding the lounge and with it her husband’s music legacy. She takes comfort from the smiling Ernie sitting in the corner.
“I don’t feel safe in here without him,” she said.
article reprint: 'POPMATTERS' from AKRON NEWSPAPER
*THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO THE DEAR MEMORY OF MY FRIENDS, ERNIE AND ANTOINETTE K-DOE, AS POSSIBLY, ALONG WITH THE ONLY WOMAN BRAVE ENOUGH TO ACCOMPANY ME, KAREN FORD, THEIR FIRST TWO WHITE BARFLIES. AND TO THE MONUMENT THAT WAS THE "MOTHER-IN-LAW" LOUNGE: NO MANNEQUINS. NO TOURISTS. NO CROWD. JUST ERNIE AND ANTOINETTE: ONE HOLDING COURT AT JUKEBOX, THE OTHER A BRAIDED-HAIRED, INDIAN SQAUW/BARTENDER [WHO WAS PARTICULARLY GOOD AT MAKING DRINKS WITH THE NAMES OF THE LIQUORS IN THEIR TITLE].
WE'LL MISS YOU BOTH, AND THE BEST BAR IN THE WORLD--IN THAT ORDER.
HAPPY MARDI GRAS, BABYDOLL!
ANTOINETTE K-DOE: DEAD! WIDOW OF ERNIE K-DOE DIES MARDI GRAS DAY @ 66 *R.I.P.* [nee Antoinette Dorsey, a.k.a, Empress of the 'Mother in Law' Lounge]
Shortly after the Emperor's passing friends e-mailed to ask how Her Imperial Highness, Ms. Antoinette K-Doe, was doing. Her smile captures it beautifully--picture July 8, 2001
Antoinette K-Doe, the irrepressible widow of rhythm & blues singer Ernie K-Doe who transformed the Mother-in-Law Lounge into a living shrine and community center, died early Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 66.
"It was her personal mission to keep his memory alive," said Ben Sandmel, who is writing a biography of Ernie K-Doe. "But she also did so much for the community. It's a huge loss for the whole musicians' community of New Orleans."
Born Antoinette Dorsey, Mrs. K-Doe was a cousin of rhythm & blues singer Lee Dorsey. She had known Ernie K-Doe for many years before they became a couple around 1990.
At the time, the singer's best days were far behind him. After a string of hits in the early 1960s, most notably "Mother-in-Law," his career, and life bottomed out. By sheer force of will, she helped him return to the stage and transform himself into an icon of eclectic New Orleans. The couple married in 1994.
"She had him on a short leash," Sandmel said. "She cleaned him up and opened the lounge to give him a place to play."
Ernie K-Doe died in 2001. But thanks to his wife, he maintained a schedule of public appearances via a life-size, fully costumed, look-alike mannequin. Mrs. K-Doe referred to the mannequin as "Ernie."
As the mother hen of the Mother-in-Law Lounge, she presided over one of the city's most diverse, funky-but-chic watering holes. With its vibrant, larger-than-life exterior murals and adjoining gardens, the Lounge stood out on an otherwise rough stretch of North Claiborne Avenue.
As the Ernie mannequin looked on from its corner throne, Mrs. K-Doe served a mix of neighborhood regulars and hipsters from across the city. The Lounge was a favorite haunt of such non-traditional musicians as Mr. Quintron, the Bywater avant-garde keyboardist, inventor and marching band impresario.
The Lounge badly flooded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's levee breaches. In advance of the floodwaters, Mrs. K-Doe dismantled the mannequin, stored the pieces in plastic bags, and stowed them in an upstairs closet. In the months after the storm, she revived the Lounge with the aid of an army of volunteers and financial support from contemporary R&B star Usher.
Mrs. K-Doe suffered a minor heart attack during Mardi Gras 2008, but recovered. On Thursday, she rode in the Muses parade with the Ernie mannequin. She served as the honorary queen of the Cameltoe Ladysteppers marching organization.
Today she had planned to don the traditional Baby Doll costume and parade through the streets of Treme before returning to the lounge for what is always a busy day. She helped revive the tradition of the Baby Dolls marching organization, and was happy to see others take up the mantle.
Michelle Longino, a founder of the Bayou Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club, received Mrs. K-Doe's blessing to costume as a Baby Doll and come out with Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux on Mardi Gras morning.
"She told us that we needed to be proper Baby Dolls, not nasty Baby Dolls," Longino said."Today we're going to call ourselves the Antoinette K-Doe Baby Dolls in her honor."
Around 3 a.m. Mardi Gras morning, Mrs. K-Doe awoke in her apartment above the Mother-in-Law Lounge and complained of feeling hot, said Gary Hughes, the husband of her adopted daughter, Jackie Coleman. She went downstairs and apparently suffered a heart attack on a sofa in the lounge.
Hughes, who was staying in the apartment at the time, said paramedics arrived quickly but could not revive Mrs. K-Doe.
Today's festivities at the Mother-in-Law Lounge will be in her honor.
"Mardi Gras was her holiday," Hughes said. "She loved Mardi Gras. We're going to run the lounge as if she was here and do it up this one last time for her."
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
The Times-PicayuneTuesday February 24, 2009
Rally of the Dolls
Separated by a generation — and now, by 2,000 miles — friends Antoinette K-Doe and Miriam Batiste Reed have teamed Up to bring the Baby Doll tradition back to Mardi Gras.
Even by New Orleans standards, the jazz funeral for Lloyd Washington was a singular event. First, there was the date: Oct. 24, 2004, or four months after Washington, a singer and member of the final Ink Spots lineup, succumbed to cancer at 83. (Unable to provide a proper burial for her husband, Hazel Washington had kept his ashes safe in a small urn enshrined at the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge on Claiborne Avenue.)
Second, there was the setting: the Musicians' Tomb at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, a space in the Barbarin family mausoleum specially designated for local artists and their spouses. In a colorful procession that included two comrades' vehicles, Antoinette K-Doe's pink limousine and Geannie Thomas' red pickup truck, one of the last survivors of the legendary R&B group became the first musician laid to rest in the historic tomb.
But a third thing stood out about Lloyd Washington's final ride. Behind the pink limo and the red pickup was an unusually outfitted second line: all women (including K-Doe, Thomas, Tee-Eva Perry, Ms. Lollipop and Miriam Batiste Reed), clad in various permutations of fancy, frilly, black-and-white infant's wear.
The Mardi Gras Baby Dolls, dormant for decades and a season early for Carnival, had turned out on a sweltering fall Saturday to pay tribute to their fallen friend.
"The Baby Dolls was the pallbearers," says K-Doe, recounting the service from behind her Treme bar, which now serves as an informal headquarters for the reborn parading krewe. "But we can't carry that heavy casket, because we're women. So we took Mr. Lloyd's little urn out of the casket and gave it to Ms. Miriam Batiste. She went in (to St. Augustine Catholic Church) first because she was our oldest Baby Doll, and we went in two by two. All the Baby Dolls had something to say over Washington, out of respect."
Fittingly, it was Reed, now 83 herself and the self-described "original Baby Doll," whose costume went the furthest — bonnet, bloomers, lacy socks and all. ("It wasn't traditional Baby Dolls," recalls an amused Rob Florence, founder of Friends of New Orleans Cemeteries, "but it wasn't traditional mourning attire, either.")
"Now, we had to walk from the church to St. Louis No. 1," K-Doe's story continues. "We had the red truck, the pink limousine and all the Baby Dolls walking behind. Well, we got tired. So we made Geannie stop, and we got on the back of the truck and rolled with the truck to the cemetery." She smiles, pausing for impact before her punch line. "Father (Jerome) LeDoux said to us, 'I've seen everything, but I've never seen Baby Dolls be pallbearers!'"
If figuring out exactly why and when the Baby Doll tradition ended is difficult, then discerning how and where it began is futile.
"Nobody was really documenting this stuff while it was happening. What I get is the origin was during the Storyville era (1897-1917). Storyville was divided into two restricted districts, a white Storyville and a black Storyville. The black Storyville, Uptown, is supposedly where [it] began — across Canal Street, where they decided to dress as Baby Dolls to show up the downtown Storyville girls."
But Reed, sister to "Uncle" Lionel Batiste of the Treme Brass Band, has little doubt as to the true originator: Alma Trepagnier Batiste. "My mother started out with her club," she says. "They were the original Baby Dolls downtown, the first Baby Dolls that came out."
The burgeoning Batiste clan was at the center of Carnival activities every year, Reed says, and open houses, impromptu concerts and festive parades were the norm. At 6 a.m. on Mardi Gras, the women would hit the streets in their bloomers and bonnets alongside the Dirty Dozen Kazoo Band, which consisted of the seven Batiste boys, family and friends. It wasn't abnormal, she remembers, for the gender divide to disappear:
"Mardi Gras day, most people called it 'Fools' Day.' You know, you dress like you want. My uncle and them would come out in red Union drawers. ... And if you see them you would be surprised, because you think it would be a lady and it's a man dressed in ladies' clothes. I remember when I was small, my brothers and them started out, and we'd have to hide our clothes, me and my sisters, because [he] would come with his friends: 'Oh Miriam, let me use one of your dresses. Oh Miriam, let me use your shoes.'"
Along with the Skeletons, Indians and Zulu, the Baby Dolls and Dirty Dozen grew to be a Mardi Gras fixture in the first half of the 20th century, playing music in the street, stopping at different houses for a cold drink or quick bite of red beans and rice.
"We didn't have no nice instruments," Reed says. "We had the washboard, the kazoo, the guitar, and a big No. 3 tub for the bass drum. Every year I did the sewing, and we would sing all our old songs together. ... When I started out, taking it back, we had 18 Baby Dolls. Our colors were solid colors, and we had satin material. We used to come out in crepe paper. I must've had about 25, 30 dresses. The satin, you know, and the Baby Doll panties with the ruffle on the back. Every year we would have a new one."
Yet even the original Baby Doll gets hazy when asked about the group's demise: "It's like everything just went ka-boom." Reed alludes instead to a series of mid-century changes, from Zulu's move Uptown in the '50s to the replacement of Claiborne's live oaks with I-10 cement columns in the late '60s, that would forever alter Carnival traditions on the avenue. By contrast, she recalls those rituals in vivid detail:
"Each stop where the Zulu would be at a different barroom: the old Caledonia that was down on St. Philip (Street) and St. Claude (Avenue); and they would leave there and go down St. Claude to Sidney Brown's lounge, on St. Claude and St. Bernard (Avenue). And then it was other spots, you know, all around London Avenue and all that.
"The floats was made out of the papier-mache," Reed adds, pronouncing the words popper-mooshay. "But then they dropped all that and came out with the old fancy floats and everything. After they took that away from Claiborne, the kids start with jeans and plaid shirts. And nobody wanted to take up the old, old faction of Mardi Gras."
Ensconced as it is on Claiborne Avenue, the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge seems like it's always been there. But Antoinette K-Doe's first Carnival in the iconic building wasn't until 1994. Soon after, she says, she began to notice the things that were missing — things she recalled from watching parades under the Claiborne oaks as a little girl.
"I remember Mr. Tootie Montana, because he was the prettiest Indian in my mind," says K-Doe, whose father, a Mardi Gras Indian himself, moved the family from Gert Town to the Ninth Ward when she was a child. "I've always been a person that got into my history. And after I put my lounge in, after I got all settled with it, I decided to go into the culture that I remembered, the Mardi Gras.
"The Skeletons, the Baby Dolls, they wouldn't come here. I knew they was at the Backstreet Museum; they was up on Orleans (Avenue). But I remember them in this area. All the bars and businesses wasn't there no more."
"I don't remember ever seeing Baby Dolls when I was a kid, but I do remember Skeletons and Indians," says Royce Osborn, who grew up near Claiborne, on Laharpe Street, in the '60s and early '70s. "We would always come down to [the avenue] and be in the neutral ground, to see the stuff going on there."
In 2002, Osborn's research for All On a Mardi Gras Day brought him to the doorsteps of both Reed and K-Doe. He listened as the former lamented her family's lost Baby Doll tradition, and he heard the latter mourn the memories of the Claiborne of her youth. And then, Osborn says, he and K-Doe hatched a plan.
"I went to Antoinette's, and we talked about doing something at her place on Mardi Gras day (in 2004)," he says. "We wanted a central location on Claiborne where it could all start from. She said, 'Well, I want to be a Baby Doll.' I said, 'Great.' And she said, 'I got a bunch of people that want to be Baby Dolls.' I said, 'That's even better.'"
Photo by Sydney Bird
Osborn relayed K-Doe's request to Reed, who agreed to conduct a Baby Doll seminar of sorts at the Mother-in-Law Lounge in the weeks before Mardi Gras. The gathering went over better than anyone imagined.
"She brought all her dresses, her bonnets," K-Doe says. "She remembered how to cut out a newspaper pattern for the bonnets. She taught us how to do the dresses."
"She had made all these costumes," Osborne recalls. "And she just laid it out to them about what it's like to be a Baby Doll, and made them really want to do it. She showed them how to walk: 'You got to have a walk to you. You got to shake it a little bit. You got your baby bottle — you can put anything in your baby bottle you want. I like to put Scotch and milk in it.'"
Reed was in for a surprise herself. "I was amazed to see how many wanted to be Baby Dolls," she says, counting the women by the dozen — young, old, black and white. "I didn't know it was going to be that many. But I let them know it starts early in the morning, and we don't do all that bad dancing and things like that. Them Gold Diggers, they wasn't hitting on nothing."
The Gold Diggers, Reed explains, were one of several rival groups throughout the years who stuck to the Baby Dolls' Storyville script, fancying bawdy outfits and ribald moves. K-Doe's group, which she dubbed the K-Dolls, would consist only of "career ladies" who would faithfully celebrate the Batistes' musical history.
"[Reed] said she didn't want to be into the Gold Digger Baby Dolls," K-Doe says. "I said, 'What if I give the Baby Dolls K-Doe's name?' That means the Gold Diggers cannot come in, because they don't have the right to use K-Doe's name. I have the last say so on who uses K-Doe's name."
And so it was, on the morning of Mardi Gras 2004, that the K-Dolls made their Carnival debut, led by a 78-year-old Creole in bonnet and bloomers, clutching a bottle of Scotch and milk and skipping down Claiborne Avenue. Reed remembers one child who approached her outside of the Mother-in-Law:
"He said, 'Aunt Miriam?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'My momma told me to go out to Antoinette's because the Baby Dolls are going to be there. Make sure you see Miriam Batiste, because that's the Baby Doll.' He found me, and he's taking pictures. A lot of the older people were so amazed that I brought the Baby Dolls back into Mardi Gras."
"Miriam was just in her element," Osborn says. "I don't think she'd had any women to mask with her for a long time. In the documentary, she says, 'All of my Baby Dolls are old, or they've passed on. But I still try.'"
Like any healthy infants, the K-Dolls grew considerably in the year after their birth. The casual krewe paid tribute to Lloyd Washington in October 2004 and appeared at Sheriff Marlin Gusman's Thanksgiving dinner for seniors that same year, bringing smiles to the faces of many who thought the Baby Dolls were long gone. In 2005, the group numbered near 50, K-Doe says, before the levee failures put a "damper" on the revival.
In actuality, of course, Hurricane Katrina's effects were much more calamitous to all involved. The flood shuttered the Mother-in-Law Lounge for a year, effectively postponing Carnival activity at 1500 Claiborne Ave. "Four of us went out on Orleans (Avenue)," K-Doe says. "We only had one Skeleton because everyone wasn't back."
Katrina wasn't the only obstacle she had to overcome. Getting ready on Mardi Gras morning in 2008, K-Doe felt a pain in her chest. "That's when I told Geannie — she was dressed as a Baby Doll — I said, 'Geannie, I believe I've taken a heart attack.' She said, 'No, girl, you're not.' I said, 'Don't tell me. Keep my bar open and call me an ambulance.'
"Now I'm in the hospital with my Baby Doll clothes on," she continues. "I tell the doctor, 'I have to go home and get ready with the Indians and the Skeletons, because I need to go out with my Baby Dolls!' He said, 'Young lady, you're not going out. You're going to surgery.'"
Focusing on recovery has meant less energy spent organizing the Baby Dolls, but K-Doe says that hasn't stopped the inquiries. "They all still relying on me. 'Didn't I tell you I'm a heart patient? Back off of me.' ... But I have talked to (North Side Second Chief) Sunpie (Barnes), and he said, 'Antoinette, do not leave home till I get there.'"
Osborn, who became a Skeleton after befriending Chief Al Morris in 2001, says he's still amazed by what happened in 2004: "We made this little parade up Claiborne to Orleans, and for one brief, shining moment, there was this collection of Indians, Skeletons, Baby Dolls and Zulu passing all at the same time. It was like, 'Yes! Oh, finally.' I was able to bring this harmonic convergence of Carnival again. I don't think it's happened again. But that one time ..."
The filmmaker pauses. "We didn't even bring a movie camera."
But for Miriam Batiste Reed, the event meant even more. Her Ninth Ward home on Caffin Avenue was wrecked the next year by Katrina's floodwaters. Displaced in Los Angeles since after the storm, she lost her husband in February 2008. Asked about a return to Carnival this year, she answers softly, "I don't think so. I don't know as yet."
Her spirits are raised, however, when discussion returns to her friend, with whom she has entrusted a large part of her family's legacy. "Whenever I get to New Orleans, I always go see Antoinette," Reed says. "She's going to continue with the Baby Dolls."
February 23, 2009
SAMMY SHORE: [PAULY SHORE'S FATHER] "OPENED FOR ELVIS MORE THAN ANN-MARGRET...AND SHE DIDN'T MAKE HIM LAUGH!"
In Las Vegas comedian Sammy Shore, today's appearance at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts, as returning home, although he never lived in Memphis.
Shore, comedian who became Elvis Presley's opening act in Las Vegas from 1969 to 1972, is currently the opening act for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Shawn Plush in the city, where the bank after his wife wore the crown of Miss Memphis.
Comedian Sammy Shore, father Pauly shore, was the opening act for Elvis Presley in Las Vegas from 1969 to 1972. The self-described "comic strip last breath" at the present time and even 81 tourists.
Comedian Sammy Shore, father Pauly shore, was the opening act for Elvis Presley in Las Vegas from 1969 to 1972. The self-described "comic strip last breath" at the present time and even 81 tourists.
Shore, father of actor-comedian Pauly Shore, working on a new comedy act he called "Two Gals, a geezer." At 81 and still touring, he is one of the oldest acts on the road, or how he calls it, "the latest comic breath."
Although now, as a rule, singers and other singers, as the opening of Vegas is often used standout comics to open for its biggest stars. Beach was opened for Tom Jones, when Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, he saw it.
Shore, who act largely on the physical comedy was to play South of the Minister, "Brother Sam", who turned to Elvis and Parker. He was on the bank knocking at the door of the dressing room. "The Colonel said:" Sammy that preacher bit was really funny bits. How would you like to open for Elvis for three weeks at an international hotel? "
Elvis act followed by the participation of Barbra Streisand, who has just christened a new hotel in the salon, the largest in the city. Elvis would break every attendance in the city.
That means the pressure on the coast. "They do not want to see Sammy Shore. They wanted to see Elvis, yes, of course, was handicap," he said. But the bank was used for growth-by-case basis. One reviewer, when he appeared with Tom Jones said: "Even if the Welshman is not showing, Sammy Shore is worth the price of admission."
Elvis' road manager Joe Esprit, said Beach was totally different. It is not the typical comedian. He does crazy things on stage. He's very hyper, physical. His energy on stage is amazing. "
Elvis friend George Klein calls Beach old-school funny comedian. It was clean and hip. This is what the Colonel was fond of him, and Elvis loved him too. "
Later, Bank will work in his act, as Elvis said he was part of bodyguards to keep away hordes of girls. "I said:" Why do not you go where the girls will not bother you - my wardrobe. "
So did Elvis. Shore says Elvis often visited and sat on the floor to talk about everything from feeling like a prisoner of the glory of the Bible. "It was a very religious guy, a sweet, sweet man."
He said he did not delve into the personal lives of Elvis or drugs."I just knew that every night, Dr. George (Nichopoulos) will be in my dressing room. He would say: "I'm going to see Elvis and give him a booster shot."
Shore History is part of the new book "The man who made Elvis Laugh: A Life in American comedy."
After Elvis' entourage, Shore opened Comedy Store in Los Angeles with partner Rudy Delia. He would later lose the store on a previous wife, Mitzi shore, in a divorce.
He is now married to Miss Memphis 1969 Suzanne Dennie, and Miss Alabama.
Beach met her on blind date in Los Angeles 17 years ago, and said that she keeps it in check. "She said to me:" If you ever decide to leave me, I'll drive.
В Лас-Вегасе комедийный Сэмми Шор, сегодняшнее появление на Кэннон Центр исполнительских искусств ", как возвращаются домой", хотя он никогда не жил в Мемфисе.
Шор, комедийный актер, который стал открытием действовать Элвиса Пресли в Лас-Вегасе с 1969 по 1972 год, в настоящее время является открытие выступать за Ultimate Elvis Дань Исполнитель Шон Lush в городе, где берег жены после носили корону Мисс Мемфис.
Юморист Сэмми Шор, отец Pauly берег, стало открытие действовать на Элвиса Пресли в Лас-Вегасе с 1969 по 1972 год. Самопровозглашенная описал "последний комикс дыхание" в настоящее время и еще 81 туристов.
Юморист Сэмми Шор, отец Pauly берег, стало открытие действовать на Элвиса Пресли в Лас-Вегасе с 1969 по 1972 год. Самопровозглашенная описал "последний комикс дыхание" в настоящее время и еще 81 туристов.
Шор, отец актер-комик Pauly Шор, работает над новой комедии акт он называет "Два" Галс ", а человек со странностями". На 81 и еще гастроли, то он является одним из старейших актов по дороге, или, как он это называет, "последний комикс дыхание".
Хотя сейчас, как правило, певцы и другие певцы, как открытие актов Вегас часто используется standout комикс, чтобы открыть для своих крупнейших звезд. Берег был открыт для Тома Джонса, когда Элвис и его руководителя, полковника Тома Паркера, увидел его.
Шор, чей акт в значительной степени по физической комедии был играть Южно-министра характер, "Брат Сэм", которые обратились к Элвис и Паркер. Был на берегу стучат в дверь уборной. "Полковник сказал:" Сэмми, что проповедник разрядных было действительно смешно бит. Как бы вы хотели, чтобы открыть для Элвис на три недели на международной гостиницы? "
Элвис актом последуют участия Barbra Streisand, который только что окрестил новый отель в салон, самый большой в городе. Элвис будет перерыв каждые посещаемости в городе.
Это означает давление на побережье. "Они не хотят видеть Сэмми Шор. Они хотели бы видеть Элвиса, да, конечно, было гандикап", говорит он. Но берег был использован для роста к случаю. Один рецензент, когда он появился с Том Джонс сказал: "Даже если валлиец не показывается, Сэмми Шор стоило бы цена на приеме".
Elvis' дорожной менеджер Джо Эспозито, говорит берег "был совершенно иным. Он не типичный комедийный актер. Он делает сумасшедшие вещи на сцене. Он очень гипер, физического. Его энергетика на сцене, это удивительно".
Элвис друг Джордж Клайн звонки берег "старой школы смешной комик. Он был чистым и бедер. Это то, что полковник любил о нем, и Элвис любил его тоже."
Позже, берег будет работать в его деяние, как Элвис сказал ему телохранителей было частично держаться подальше орды девочек. "Я сказал:" Почему бы тебе не пойти, когда девушки не будет беспокоить вас - моего гардероба ".
Так Элвис сделал. Шор говорит Элвис часто посещал и сел на пол поговорить обо всем, от ощущения, как узник славу Библии. "Он был очень религиозный парень, просто сладкий, сладкий мужчина".
Он говорит, что он не углубляться в Elvis личной жизни или наркотиков. "Я просто знал, что каждую ночь д-р Джордж (Nichopoulos) будет проходить моего гардероба. Он бы сказать: 'У меня идти увидеть Элвиса и дать ему бустерный выстрел".
Шор история является частью новой книги "Человек, кто поставил Элвиса смеха: Жизнь в американской комедии".
После чего Elvis' антураж, Шор открыл Комедия Store в Лос-Анджелесе с партнером Руди DeLuca. Он будет поздно потеряет хранить на предыдущую жену, Mitzi берега, при расторжении брака.
Сейчас он женат на Мисс Мемфис 1969 Сузанны Денни, затем Мисс Алабама.
Берег встретил ее на сегодняшний день слепых в Лос-Анджелесе 17 лет назад, и говорит, что она держит его в чеке. "Она говорит мне:" Если вы когда-нибудь решит оставить меня, я вам диск ".
February 22, 2009
The Many Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald - 55:27
An investigation into the background of Lee Harvey Oswald including detailed analysis by Jack White into the multiple images of Oswald.
Lee Harvey Oswald's
Favorite TV show
Herbert Philbrick, a Boston advertising executive who infiltrated the U.S. Communist Party on behalf of the FBI in the 1940s, wrote a bestselling book on the life of a double agent, "I Led Three Lives: Citizen, 'Communist', Counterspy" (1952).
"I Led Three Lives" was an American television show which was syndicated by Iv Television Programs from 1953 to 1956 and lasted 117 episodes. The part of Philbrick was played by Richard Carlson.
According to Judyth Vary Baker, Lee Harvey Oswald's girlfriend in New Orleans, "I Led Three Lives" was Oswald's favorite TV show.
This particular film was produced before the Bay of Pigs fiasco which Oswald was believed by some to have participated in with David Ferrie, his instructor in the Lousiana Civil Air Patrol.
Conspiracy theorists believe that Oswald was the "lone nut assassin" who killed JFK.
To maintain this farce requires ignoring his family's long involvement with organized crime in New Orleans, his personal involvement with New Orleans-based anti-communists, and his strange status as a US Marine who "defected" to the Soviet Union and was permitted back in the US with the financial support of the US State Department. In the midst of all this, Oswald posed dramatically, though unconvincingly, as a Castro sympathizer; indeed...I Led Three Lives was an American television showbased on thelife of Herbert Philbrick, an advertising executive who infiltrated the American Communist Party on behalf of the FBI in the 1940s.
Philbrick wrote the book I Led Three Lives: Citizen, 'Communist, Counterspy' which was published in 1952 by McGraw Hill and became a bestseller.
It was promptly used as the basis for I Led Three Lives which ran from 1953 to 1956.
Lee was 14 years old when the series began, and it became his favorite show.
The part of Philbrick was played by Richard Carlson, a Sci-Fi star whose best known movie was The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Herbert Philbrick personally narrated each episode and served as a technical consultant.
Scripts for all 117 episodes were approved by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.
Most of the plots had very little to do with the actual events of Philbrick's life and frequently involved international intrigue in which Philbrick never participated.
The show was a companion piece of sorts to the radio drama I was a Communist for the FBI which ran from 1952 to 1954.
This is an excellent example of shameless propaganda from this embarrassing period of American history.
In 1963 Herbert Philbrick was brought to New Orleans to speak for an event organized by INCA, an anti-Communist organization headed by Dr. Alton Ochsner. The event was held at the Reily Coffee Company where Lee and Judyth both worked at the time. Lee got to attend the event and meet Philbrick in person. Lee was disappointed by Philbrick's presentation and later told Judyth"Philbrick let us know Jesus Christ isn't the Savior. It's J. Edgar Hoover."
Judyth says the Lee pretended to be a Communist in New Orleans in the Summer of 1963 as part of his assignment to infiltrate Cuba to deliver a biological weapon to be used to assassinate Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
Judyth was the laboratory technician who helped develop the cancerous weapon.
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