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