Ernest “Skipper” Skipper, Jr., Grand Marshal of the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and singer/bandleader of Ernest Skipper and the Thunder Blues Band passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. He was 61 years old.
Skipper was perhaps best known for a lone single he wrote and recorded for New Orleans-based Rosemont Records. The Mardi Gras song, “Shot Gun Joe”, featured the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indians singing background vocals and what was likely a very young Dirty Dozen playing horns (Dan Phillips of the great Home of the Groove blog ventured that this may have been the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s first appearance on record.
Although it never gained the level of fame of some other Mardi Gras classics, “Shot Gun Joe” is no less their equal. Below is a clip from the original single.
Funeral services for Skipper will be held tomorrow, Friday December 18. Visitation begins at 9 am at Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Ave., with services at 10 am. A second line will start at 11:15 am, sharp. Burial will take place at the Biloxi National Cemetery in Biloxi, Mississippi at 2:30 pm.