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Music

New Orleans Calling: City Of The Dead

WWOZ’s nationally-syndicated one-hour program New Orleans All The Way Live has been recently renamed and re-imagined in a great new form, with a new name — New Orleans Calling.

Welcome to New Orleans Calling, WWOZ’s nationally syndicated program. New Orleans Calling airs on WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans every Saturday morning from 7 a.m.-8 a.m., and you can also listen online to recent episodes at wwoz.org.

Listen to this week’s episode of New Orleans Calling.

New Orleans is known for jazz, Mardi Gras, food, parties, architecture, festivals — and also for its above-ground cemeteries. When you wander into one, it’s a world unto itself. These places are the focus of so many myths and stories, and questions. We’re taking a walk into one of those cemeteries, with an expert to guide us, and a soundtrack of jazz, blues, and more.

New Orleans is famous for its above ground cemeteries. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
New Orleans is famous for its above ground cemeteries. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Every week on New Orleans Calling, we provide additional material online to accompany each show, in case you’re interested in finding out more. Sometimes it’s going more in-depth, sometimes it’s something cool we didn’t have time to go into, and sometimes it’s just plain fun.

We hope you enjoy this week’s program, “City of the Dead.”

Our guest this week on New Orleans Calling is Tony Paone, a tour guide with the nonprofit organization Save Our Cemeteries, which is dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the historic cemeteries of New Orleans through restoration, education and advocacy. We met up at the famous St. Louis No. 1 cemetery on Basin Street.

Make sure to visit www.saveourcemeteries.org to learn the truth about New Orleans’ famous above-ground cemeteries — unfortunately, a great deal of myth and well-intentioned misinformation keeps being disseminated by uninformed tour guides and repeated in travel guides and in local conventional wisdom. For example, many locals in New Orleans grow up believing that we bury the dead above ground because the water table is so high — it turns out that isn’t the case at all! Listen to this week’s show to hear Tony Paone give the real explanation.

Debbie Davis and Alex McMurray performed a special version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” for us this week, recorded in Alex’s kitchen in the Bywater part of town. Here’s a video of Debbie performing Dream A Little Dream Of Me, with Matt Perrine on sousaphone:

And here’s a video of Alex McMurray, a singer and songwriter who seems to be performing all over New Orleans, practically every day and night of the week. The song is “You’ve Got To Be Crazy (To Live In This Town)”:

Corey Harris performed the haunting “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was The Ground” on this week’s program. Here’s Corey performing “Special Rider Blues.”

THIS WEEK’S TRACK LISTING:

James Andrews, Trombone Shorty, Cyril Neville (vocals) – “Just a Closer walk with Thee”
(music bed) Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “Westlawn Dirge”
Magnificent Seventh’s Brass Band – “As I Lay My Burden Down”
(music bed) Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “Do Lord”
(music bed) Papa Celestin’s New Orleans Band – “Marie La Veau”
Paul Barbarin – “Lily of the Valley”
(music bed) Louis Armstrong – “Melancholy”
Lucien Barbarin And The Palm Court Swingers – “Just a Little While to Stay Here”
(music bed) Hot 8 Brass Band – “Ghost Town”

(music bed) Louis Armstrong – “I’m Gonna Gitcha”
Louis Armstrong – “When the Saints Go Marching in”
(music bed) Alvin Batiste with Red Callender, Al Casey, et al – “When the Saints Go Marching in”
Alex McMurray and Debbie Davis – “When the Saints Go Marching in”
(music bed) Dr. Michael White – “Algiers Hoodoo Woman”
Hurray for the Riff Raff – “Dance of Death”
(music bed) Daniele Spadavecchia & Sicilian Swing – “Guaglione”
(music bed) Jimi Hendrix – “If 6 was 9”
Champion Jack Dupree – “Give Me Flowers While I’m Livin'”
Corey Harris – “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground”
(music bed) Tangle Eye – “O Death”

New Orleans Calling is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City, with support from NewOrleansOnline.com and GoNOLA.comNew Orleans Calling is an internationally syndicated weekly radio show produced by George Ingmire highlighting the unique music, food, festivals, and culture of the Crescent City. Ingmire culls from WWOZ’s vast library of live recordings and connects with musicians from across the city to bring you one-of-a-kind music and musician interviews — from flagship music festivals to living room concerts.

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