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Arts & Culture

New Orleans Calling: Lipstick Traces

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

Welcome to the WWOZ’s new nationally syndicated program, New Orleans Calling!   You can listen to New Orleans Calling on WWOZ every Saturday morning from 7-8 a.m., and you can also listen online to recent episodes.

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

In the 1950s, the sound of New Orleans was Rhythm and Blues.  And like everything else here, New Orleans R&B brought something different to music — it was more alive and more fun, with some serious rhythm.  This week, we check out the music from that era, meet some of the people responsible for that sound, and find out how they got their start.

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.

Here’s a list of interesting links and information about the stories and music in this week’s show, “Lipstick Traces”:

Here’s a short interview with the great Dave Bartholomew.

And here’s an interview with Cosimo Matassa, talking about how he got his start, and about working with Dave Bartholomew.

We only mention the great New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer for a minute in this week’s program, due to time limitations — but his contributions to New Orleans R&B, and to all music, were immense.  This video includes his demonstration of the simple-sounding, but actually complex, drum arrangement of Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’.”  Plus a brief performance including Allen Toussaint on piano!

Here’s a 1992 article by former WWOZ show host John Sinclair about the great Tommy Ridgley.

Here’s a video of the late, but very great, Johnny Adams performing “Walking on a Tightrope”  featuring George Porter, Jr. on bass, Jon Cleary on piano, Danny Caron on guitar, and Kenneth Blevins on drums.

Here’s New Orleans piano legend Allen Toussaint performing “Party Goin’ On” at the 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

“Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)” was written by Allen Toussaint, as personally witnessed by the late Benny Spellman in this week’s episode.  But the track is technically credited to one “Naomi Neville.”  What’s the story?  Toussaint says that while he was going to court to get out of a publishing contract, he needed to publish songs under a different name. He used his mother’s maiden name, Naomi Neville (no relation to the Neville Brothers), because he knew he could trust his mother.  (Source: I Hear You Knockin’: The Sound of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, by Jeff Hannusch, Swallow Publications, 1985)

And we’re sad to admit there isn’t any video available of Benny Spellman performing “Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette).” So we’re leaving you with the late New Orleans guitarist, Snooks Eaglin, performing this classic track, with George Porter, Jr. of the Meters.

This week’s track listing:

(show opening music bed was Dave Bartholomew – “Stardust”)
Dave Bartholomew – “Jump Children”
Lloyd Price – “Chee Koo Baby”
(music bed: James Booker – “Cool Turkey”)
Dave Bartholomew – “Shrimp and Gumbo”
Shirley and Lee – “Let the Good Times Roll”
(music bed: Earl Palmer & his Ten Piece – “Drum Village (part 1)”)
Dave Bartholomew – “Love No More”
Tommy Ridgley – “I’ve Heard that Story Before”
(music bed: Tommy Ridgley – “Shrewsbury Blues”)
Jewel King – “3 x 7 = 21”
(music bed: Dave Bartholomew – “My Ding-a-ling”)
Smiley Lewis – “One Night of Sin”
(music bed: Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler and the Gyros – “Hey Mama (take 6)”)

Dr John (Mac Rebennack) – “Storm Warning”
(music bed: Dr John – “Sahara”)
Allen Toussaint – “Whirlaway”
(music bed: Allen Toussaint – “Bono”)
Benny Spellman – “Lipstick Traces”
(music bed: Irma Thomas – “Hittin’ on Nothing”)
Irma Thomas – “Ruler of My Heart”
(music bed:  Dr John – “The Ear Is On Strike”)
Johnny Adams – “Losing Battle”
(music bed: Dave Bartholomew Big Band – “Troubles of My Own”)
King James and the Special Men – Live set recorded at DBA New Orleans
(closing music bed: Dave Bartholomew Big Band – “Fats Domino Medley”)

New Orleans Calling is a production of WWOZ, listener-supported community radio in the Crescent City, with support from and New 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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