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Friday's song EmptySat Sep 28, 2013 8:42 am by CuylerLady

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Post by CuylerLady on Fri May 31, 2013 10:23 am

Mean Ol' World - Professor Longhair and The Meters

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Classic Professor Longhair, rollicking piano, awesome action on bass, and cool lyrics. Starting out in life as a street hustler, Henry Roeland 'Roy' Byrd didn't become a serious musician till sometime in his thirties. His distinctive piano playing style stemmed from teaching himself how to play, on a piano with missing keys. His career took off, but only in New Orleans, his closed throat vocals just didn't garner a large, cosmopolitan audience beyond the Big Easy. Still, he was a direct influence on many bigger stars, among them Fats Domino, Huey 'Piano' Smith, Allen Toussaint, and Dr. John. During his first gig at the Caldonia Club in New Orleans, owner Mike Tessitore took a look at Byrd's wild hairstyle, and dubbed him 'Professor Longhair', 'Fess' to his devoted fans. Fess had a troubled, spotty career as a musician, in the '60s, his career ground down, and to support himself, he took a job as a janitor. During this time, he also developed a gambling habit. The early 70s saw a revival of his career, and he even visited England in the latter 70s; his recorded live set, 'Live On The Queen Mary', arose from a party thrown by Paul and Linda McCartney. 1980 saw his popularity across America increasing, and he starred in a PBS series, 'Soundstage', with Earl King, Dr. John, and The Meters. He was filming a documentary, 'Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together', when he passed away in his sleep from a heart attack. Instantly, the documentary became a tribute to him, and footage from his funeral was incorporated into it. A fun musician, who's opening licks on the piano let you know a damn good song is coming your way, whether you like it or not.



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