• Patty McGehee

    I was one of the lucky people who got to see Fess up close fairly regularly at Jed’s on Oak Street in NOLA way back when. I was 19 years old. ( I am now 56.) I was actually able to lean up on his piano at his right and watch him. He kicked the piano so hard underneath there was a piece of plywood there to protect it! I heard people say it was there to cover the hole he had made in it!

    The feel of his music was a revelation to me. I was hooked from the first time I saw him. I sought out his shows in local places and attended as many of them as I could. I got to see him close down Jazz Fest when I was on my honeymoon there.

    By chance, my husband and I stopped into Tipitina’ around 5:00 one Monday afternoon (in 1980) to get a Dixie beer. Professor Longhair was onstage being interviewed and filmed. No one was there except a bartender, the videographer, the interviewer, my husband, and me. It was wonderful!
    Fess died just a few days after that. I will always cherish that memory.

    Thank you for the wonderful article!

    Patty Fuller McGehee

  • Paul Thorne

    I have never understood what is meant by ..,’his style seemed dated’.Who or what makes it ‘dated’
    I play music from 40’s and 50’s but I never call it dated.It’s simply the music I love.I have nevr bought anything recorded by Irma or Lee D because it never appealed to me,but moderrn?

  • Clint P Johnson

    I have only known Fess through recordings, but there is no way , you could ever convince me that he wasn’t a firebrand original in a world of alot of ” re-hashin”, If you will. I do believe his spirit ushers in smiles and a chance to let loose every Mardi Gras…. almost willing to bet on it. Professor Longhair, I thank you for what you cultivated and shared with the world. Le tempts Bon Ton Roulet !