Henry Butler’s Passing
The passing of Henry Butler leads me to reflect on how many great artists we’ve lost in recent years. I first met Henry when he was a special guest at Stevie Wonder’s birthday party at Rosy’s in New Orleans during the time Stevie was recording at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa. Years later he called me out of the blue to tell me how much he appreciated the work I was doing with Chris Thomas King. I will never forget that call and the warm feeling it gave me. His loss returns the focus on close friends, and legendary artists no longer with us who trusted me to assist in guiding their careers—Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Bobby Charles and John D. Loudermilk. However, rather than leaving a void, their spiritual presences will continue to inspire me. They were my mentors as well as clients and friends. We worked together in total trust with handshakes serving as binding contracts.
—Jim Bateman, Bogalusa, Louisiana
Thanks very much for the back issues. I enjoy following OffBeat online, but there’s something really special about reading through back issues and seeing how my favorite music scene has continued to evolve.
I particularly appreciate your including the George Porter issue. I’ve interviewed him twice as a journalist, and was also fortunate enough to catch last year’s Meters reunion at the Orpheum. He’s always been one my favorite musicians, as well as one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
I’m moving to New Orleans in November, and would like to bring myself up to speed on what’s going on down there.
Congratulations on your 30th anniversary, by the way. Keep up the great work.
—Bill Forman, Colorado Springs, Colorado
I have subscribed to OffBeat for many years and have always enjoyed reading it.
I just finished the June issue with the Jazz Fest Redux article and have a note for you. Out of over 30 items, only two were mainly about women artists. I know that the ratio of male and female artists at the Fest is not 50-50, but only two items seems low.
I’ve seen the same thing with the annual CD [Best of]. There is often only one female artist included.
Your effort in promoting the music of New Orleans is really impressive. But I would like to see more representation of women artists in the Jazz Fest reviews and CDs.
—Claire Hinchcliffe, Tampa, Florida
A point well-taken. Our staff is made up of more women than men, and that subject is something we constantly talk about. Music has traditionally been a man’s game, but we’re committed to showcasing more women in OffBeat. Stay tuned.—Ed.
The following letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post, “What Do We Want to Be When We Grow Up?” about the Greater New Orleans (GNO), Inc.’s request for a proposal for a study to recommend how “Greater New Orleans becomes a hub for a thriving music business economy beyond the traditional live performance and club culture.”
I just want to say thank you [Jan Ramsey] for spotlighting this new study and shedding light to this lusterless music scene we have today. Wow, I have only been on the music scene in New Orleans for seven years. What I see here is NO OPPORTUNITIES. The best folks leave and most times flourish and stay gone. Or they leave and then come back too soon ready to share the fame and help make opportunities for future fortune. Because they realize there is nothing for our artists here—no support, no connections, no hubs, barely any radio platform with real reach, and no one to point our talent into the right direction! But I see so much potential! When I was a kid and on the scene I was excited. But I saw soon where the cap lies. We can lift this glass ceiling. I’m so excited there is a force out there like you guys at OffBeat and GNO, Inc. that care to put the work in to make our city a music destination again. Thank you.
—Brittany Nicholas, New Orleans, Louisiana