I appreciated the remembrance of George Buck [In Memoriam, January 2014]. I remember when Palm Court opened. I was in town not long after and met George. He was a perfectly wonderful storyteller, taking way more time to talk to a tourist than he should have. Each time I ever ate at the Palm Court, it was unique. Arriving and seeing Lloyd Washington of the Ink Spots eating red beans before his show. Meeting Danny Barker. Meeting Lionel Ferbos. Listening to Peter Badie launch into a 10-minute speech about what life for African-American musicians was like in the ’50s. Most recently, having Nina [Buck] tell me about George’s radio stations (some here in North Carolina back in the day) and being a totally gracious hostess, as if I was in her home. George helped rescue a lot of potentially lost music—long live the Mardi Gras parade music sets!
—Al Dunn, Salisbury, North Carolina
WON’T DISCLOSE NUMBERS
These letters are in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post “All Hell Breaking Loose” wherein she questions the Vieux Carr Property Owners, Renters and Associates’ (VCPORA) position of not making public the number of its members.
Those most affected by the decision must have the most say.
I’m not sure if it’s illegal, but it’s definitely unethical for VCPORA to not disclose the number of members. As a nonprofit, most of that information should be made public and their hesitance to disclose it illustrates how shady they really are.
—Beth Reniff, New Orleans, Louisiana
These letters are in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post “Why Music Hasn’t Prevailed in New Orleans” wherein she gives her reasons why music doesn’t get the respect it deserves and comments on the noise ordinance.
What a shame to hear about this. When I lived and worked in New Orleans in the mid ’70s, we were proud of the sounds of music all over the Quarter. I can remember the “contests” between the bands at Maison Bourbon and Crazy Shirley’s. If there is any city in this country that should be proud of the music that comes from its clubs and streets, it should be New Orleans!
—Mike Vax, Prescott, Arizona
The city of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, enacted a noise ordinance in much the same way with some of the same argument that are currently surfacing in New Orleans. Wish I had the time right now to bring forward a long description but I can tell you that the number of music venues has slowly disappeared. What I can also say is that I hold New Orleans music as essential to the well-being and culture of the city. Although I live many miles away, I would be happy to assist in the effort if there is a way for me to do so. Perhaps an online Facebook campaign should be manifested to get support from people outside of the city who visit New Orleans with some frequency.
—Sydney Arzt, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Glad to see so many people are still fighting the good fight! We have many of the same issues here in Austin—like neighborhood associations demanding changes to our noise ordinance—but also the good fortune to have the leadership of a mayor and City Council who support music not just as an economic engine for our city, but also as its cultural soul. The music industry’s advocacy arm, Austin Music People, finished a solid first full year in 2013 and we’re looking forward to a big year in 2014 as Austin is divided into districts for the first time—we’ll be working hard to make sure the winning candidate for every district is music-friendly. We’ll be watching MaCCNO (Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans) for inspiration and stand ready to offer whatever support we can to our colleagues next door in Louisiana! Keep up the good work!
—Jennifer Houlihan, Austin, Texas
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