Blues News

Professor Longhair – Blues Highlights!

Professor Longhair – Blues Highlights!

Professor Longhair. With Mardi Gras just around the corner, we couldn’t resist representing a musician who embodies New Orleans Blues. Even more, he’s one of the pioneers that helped create the eclectic sounds of New Orleans. Although he’s no longer with us, his spirit will always live on in New Orleans. For those of you who are not familiar with Professor Longhair.

Well, he’s among many other great musicians hailing from New Orleans, that help to shape the sounds of New Orleans rhythm and blues from the mid-1940s. Pretty much one of the pioneers of the familiar sounds of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues. His style of playing and music influences the likes of Louie Armstrong, Allen Toussaint, Dr John, Fats Domino, and many others. Still to this day he’s one of the many kings of New Orleans! 

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1918, he pretty much grew up in downtown New Orleans. Being involved in music at a very early age performing and dancing on the streets for tips. Over the years when it came to music. Fess creates a special musical style that personifies what New Orleans is all about! Creating a big pot of musical gumbo that inspires musicians all over the world! 

Another special thing about professor Longhair is that he made his own instruments from discarded items. As a kid, he came across a discarded piano and fixed it up, started playing and became hooked on the keys! While his musical career as a musician is limited to local performances, it’s his signature piano style of rollicking boogie-woogie bass and engaging syncopation that gets him noticed! As well as the moniker of the “Bach of Rock and Roll” 

Live on the Queen Mary!

It was not until the 1970s, some 30 years into his career, that Professor Longhair attained greater recognition. After producing the album Live on the Queen Mary (1978) with Paul McCartney, Byrd and his professional band, the Blues Scholars, were a huge success on tours of Europe and the United States. Professor Longhair topped off his career with the critically acclaimed Crawfish Fiesta (1980), and in 1992 he’s inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you can’t make it to New Orleans, then at least check out the amazing musicians that are from there!

Keeping the Blues Alive
To learn more or donate to Keeping The Blues Alive, visit our website at

Share this post