Smithsonian Folkways to release historical recordings of New Orleans music – Free Download Available

Historically, New Orleans is one of the musical meccas of the U.S.  The cultural melting pot that has persisted within New Orleans has created some of the influential music in history.  Jazz, zydeco, blues, and more have all emerged or had a deep influence on the different musical styles.

Smithsonian Folkways is releasing a new recording, Classic Sounds of New Orleans, which provides a cultural prospectus of the music from the Big Easy.  With a mission of preserving the nation’s musical history, this Smithsonian recording is great for history buffs or music nerds, like Viola and I.  Furthermore, this recording is a great addition to jazz music connoisseurs’ libraries and collections.

The recordings from the Folkways archives of New Orleans include notable musicians such as Doc Paulin, Emile Barnes, Snooks Eaglin, Lonnie Johnson, Champion Jack Dupree, and staples of the New Orleans repertoire such as “Corrine, Corrina,” “Saint James Infirmary” and “Please Don’t Talk about Me When I’m Gone.”

The CD package includes a 32-page booklet with detailed track-by-track liner notes by Robert H. Cataliotti. After being given a preview, the details in the booklet provide in-depth historical context around each song.

Smithsonian Folkways was kind enough to allow us to provide a free download.  Click on the music icon to listen or right click “save as” to download.

We Shall Walk Through the Streets (Dirge)

We Shall Walk Through the Streets (March)

As a preview to what is offered in the booklet, the following is a fragment from the songs description.  Both songs go together.

The New Orleans brass band accompanying a funeral procession—a slow, mournful  dirge on the way to the cemetery and a fast-paced, joyous march on the way back—is probably one of the most indelible impressions of the city’s musical heritage. Beginning in the mid-19th century, brass bands were frequently associated with fraternal orders that insured respectful funerary rituals for members. The dirge/march duality represented both the recognition of the loss and the celebration of the life of the departed.

Alden Ashforth and David Wyckoff recorded Doc Paulin’s marching band, which included five of his sons. The choice of the traditional spiritual, “We Shall Walk Through the Streets of the City” (also the melody for “Red River Valley”), illustrates the link between the sacred and the secular in African American music.

Classic Sounds of New Orleans will be released on Tuesday, July 27th and may be purchased through the Smithsonian Folkways website at www.folkways.si.edu and www.smithsonianglobalsound.org

The full track listing is…

  1. Just a Little While to Stay Here – Eureka Brass Band
  2. Shine-Hambone – Shoeshine boy
  3. Tiger Rag – Freddie L. Small
  4. Blackberries! – Dora Bliggen
  5. Red White and Blue Got the Golden Band – Mardi Gras Indians
  6. Times Done Changed – Sister Dora Alexander
  7. Dark Was the Night – Rev. Lewis Jackson and Charlotte Rucell
  8. Back to the Time – Choir of Pilgrim Baptist Church
  9. We Shall Walk through the Streets of the City (Dirge) – Doc Paulin
  10. We Shall Walk through the Streets of the City (March) – Doc Paulin
  11. Bucket’s Got a Hole in It – Punch Miller with Samuel B. Charters
  12. Spooky Drums #1 – Baby Dodds
  13. Milenberg Joys – Emile Barnes
  14. Clarinet Marmalade – The Six and Seven-Eighths String Band of New Orleans
  15. High Society – Snooks Eaglin
  16. Careless Love – Lonnie Johnson
  17. Lonesome Road – Billie and De De Pierce with Emile Barnes
  18. Corrine, Corrina – Kid Clayton
  19. Saint James Infirmary – Snooks Eaglin
  20. Take Your Big Leg Off Me/Easy Rider/Mama Don’t ‘Low No Music Playing Here – H. J. Boiusseau
  21. Rattlesnake Boogie – Champion Jack Dupree
  22. Please Don’t Talk about Me When I’m Gone – Roosevelt Sykes
  23. Jimmy’s Blues – Kid Clayton
  24. C. C. Rider – Lonnie Johnson
  25. Shake It and Break It – Emile Barnes and Lawrence Tocca with Billie Pierce
  26. Lord, Lord, Lord – Eureka Brass Band
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