New Orleans R&B: Birth, Decline, Revival


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2019 Spring Class

New Orleans R&B: Birth, Decline, Revival

Instructor: Frank Johnson

Tuesdays •  3/19-5/7 • 1:00-3:00 PM

Location: Pending

We will take a musical stroll through the Crescent City’s fertile rhythm and blues heritage from the post WWII period to the present. We will examine what makes New Orleans musical culture unique, the origins of NOLA R&B, and the musicians who have created the pulse of the Big Easy. A prominent part of the course will be the 1950’s and early 1960’s when New Orleans’ recordings formed the epicenter of R&B and early rock ‘n roll. The course will examine the music and careers of New Orleans legends from the famous (Professor Longhair, Fats Domino) to the more obscure artists. We will also consider more contemporary musicians and the current musical scene. A special feature will be a discussion on the tradition and music of the Mardi Gras Indians. Put on your dancin’ shoes.

Text: I Hear You Knockin’ by Jeff Hannusch Classroom

Class size 5-25 students
13 seats remaining


Frank Johnson has a lifelong passion and interest in African-American music: jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and Afro-Latin. He has a collection of over 4,000 albums covering these genres. In addition, he has a personal library of over 250 books on African-American musical styles, musicians and cultural influences. Frank is a graduate of University of Maine with a degree in Political Science and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives of State and Local Government.

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