Dr. John

While listening to my "Dr. John" albums I began to ruminate over his accomplishments as a musician and as a person. I found his music extremely entertaining;



Dr. John, philosopher and musician extraordinaire; his musical philosophy and culture was NOLA, New Orleans Louisiana.

Dr. John's music spread all the varied aspects of NOLA far and wide. He combined elements of NOLA's unique Black culture which is mixed with "Hoodoo" and "Gri Gri" in a most entertaining manner.

Dr. John was "Raceless"; although he was of Irish, German and English ancestry, he was booted out of white society at the tender age of 16 when he was expelled from the Jesuit High School because of his close association with Black musicians, but those very same musicians welcomed him with open arms. That's why his reality was more Black than White.

A testament to the love all races had for Dr. John was his 2nd line funereal.   Dr. John passed at the break of day.


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This brings me back to tending bar and working the door at the Chestnut Cabaret in West Philadelphia in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s while in college. While was never going to get rich or even learn the finest bartending skills - the night to night music dynamic - and crowds that went with them was a life experience comparable (and sometimes more worthy) to my academic education at the time. Dr John - was one of those shows that would always fill the house - and the crowd was as diverse as any night you could imagine - wonderful music and amazing experience of humanity, and just plain fun !!!! Will always cherish that time of my life.

I don't know where it was, but somebody told us that was not the way to say N'Awlins, but my friend in basic training who was born in N'Awlinz, told me that was the way people from N'Awlinz pronounced it, plus that's the way Mr. N'Awlinz, Dr. John pronounces it, so we know from now on, there is no other way to pronounce N'Awlinz.

Enjoyed the post.
Lucky enough to see him a few years back at a small’ish venue with seats close to the stage.   A showman for sure but the real deal musically.  Awesome evening that I am so glad I didn’t miss.

Dr. John loved N'Orleans and N'Orleans loved Dr. John. When I was in basic training at Lackland AFB, I came to be good friends with a guy named Petry who was about as N'Orleans as any one could get, and that was the way he pronounced it.

Evidently no one here is a fan of N'Orleans music, but what others don't know is that if you're a fan of Blues, or R&B, then you are a fan of N'Orleans music; it's just that the musicians in the Crescent City didn't bother to get their music copyrighted, and it spread from one honky tonk juke joint to another, all the way to Chicago without being attributed to N'Orleans.

At an early age, Malcolm John Rebennack was exposed to the music of King Oliver and Louis Armstrong who inspired Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch.

As a young man, Rebennack was interested in New Orleans voodoo, and in Los Angeles, he developed the idea of the Dr. John persona for his old friend Ronnie Barron, based on the life of Dr. John, a Senegalese prince, conjure man, herb doctor, and spiritual healer who came to New Orleans from Haiti. This free man of color lived on Bayou Road and claimed to have 15 wives and over 50 children. He kept an assortment of snakes and lizards, along with embalmed scorpions and animal and human skulls, and sold gris-gris, voodoo amulets which supposedly protect the wearer from harm.

Rebennack decided to produce a record and a stage show based on this concept, with Dr. John serving as an emblem of New Orleans heritage. Although initially, the plan was for Barron to front the act assuming the identity of "Dr. John", while Rebennack worked behind the scenes as Dr. John's writer, musician, and producer, this did not come to pass. Barron dropped out of the project, and Rebennack took over the role (and identity) of Dr. John. Gris-Gris became the name of Dr. John's debut album, released in January 1968, representing his own form of "voodoo medicine".

Although I wasn't exposed to Dr. John's music until very late in my life, I immediately identified with some of it, because I lived the the life of "Wine woman and song" as long as I could.


Tell me about it; always clean and pressed, acting real cool, but it was One 2 A. M. too many.



I love Dr John what a fantastic artist and personality the Nite Tripper himself always in the right place at the wrong time!