Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Professor Longhair will have a vintage performance from 1976 issued on CD for the first time.
Born Henry Byrd, Professor Longhair became a staple of the New Orleans music scene during two distinct eras. He had his first and only hit, Bald Head, while still recording as Roy Byrd and His Blues Jumpers in 1950. While none of his further records made the jump to the charts, he is still known for such classics as Big Chief, Tipitina and Going to the Mardi Gras.
In the 60's, Professor Longhair found that he had to leave the music business and work as a janitor to make ends meet but, in the early 70's, he played at the New Orleans, Newport and Montreaux Jazz Festivals, rekindling an interest in his recordings. For the rest of his life, he regularly recorded and performed live. Longhair died in 1980 at the age of 61.
On April 12, Orleans Records (via Select-o-Hits) will release Live at the University of Chicago Folk Festival - February 1, 1976, a seven song set that includes some of Professor Longhair's best known songs. For the performance, he was joined by Billy Gregory on lead guitar, Will Harvey on rhythm guitar, Julius Farmer on bass and Earl Gordon on drums.
The performance, which was originally broadcast by Chicago's WFMT-FM, was produced and mastered from the original analog tapes by Carlo Dita and Billy Gregory.
The track list:
- Doin' It
- Big Chief
- Every Day I Have the Blues
- Mess Around
- Mardi Gras in New Orleans
- Got My Mojo Working
- Fess's Boogie