In a segment entitled “Inside the National Recording Registry,” this week’s Studio 360, an award-winning arts and culture radio program, focuses on our own Mardi Gras Indian tradition. In 1976,a recording came out that brought the music of the Mardi Gras Indians to a wider audience. The Wild Tchoupitoulas featured all four Neville Brothers and the Meters, an all-star New Orleans backing band. The album was chosen for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry earlier this year.
The Wild Tchoupitoulas were, for a time, led by George Landry, known as Chief Jolly — an uncle to the Neville brothers — and the album was made as a tribute. “He was, as far as I’m concerned, a giant,” remembers Cyril Neville, “and one of the people who put New Orleans culture on the map.” OffBeat publisher Jan Ramsey is quoted in the piece as well.
Studio 360 is an award-winning arts and culture radio program hosted and co-created by writer Kurt Andersen. The program airs on 160 public radio stations all over the country (including WWNO 90.7 in New Orleans). It’s also available as a podcast via the program’s website, pri.org, and iTunes. It can also be heard on XM satellite radio on the PRI blocks on XMPR, channel 133.
Listen this Sunday on WWNO at 10 a.m. to learn more about this landmark recording, and the Mardi Gras Indian traditions that are intrinsic to New Orleans musical culture.