In Memoriam

We've lost some of our most beloved musicians and other friends who've shared and contributed richness to the musical tapestry of New Orleans and the world. Please join us in remembering their songs and their spirits. Use the "Comments" section below to add your own tributes to anyone we've missed.

  Charles "Action" Jackson | George Wein

  Ellis MarsalisArt Neville | Dave Bartholomew | Dr. John

Fats Domino | Pete Fountain | Allen Toussaint 


In Memoriam: Alex Chilton

Wed, 03/17/10
Authored by Mike Kobrin
Songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer Alex Chilton (b. 1950) passed away on March 17, 2010, here in New Orleans. He was scheduled to play with the latest version of Big Star at this year's South By Southwest festival in Austin, TX. The show was replaced with an all-sta... Read more

In Memoriam: Rockie Charles

Fri, 03/12/10
Authored by Mike Kobrin
Rockie Charles, known as "The President of Soul" thanks to his early 1970's hit of the same name, passed away on March 12 at the age of 67. The Louisiana native backed up Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, and others, and recorded gems like "Show My People Around The Curve". After de... Read more

In Memoriam: 2010

Fri, 03/26/10
WWOZ honors the fallen heroes of New Orleans music who passed away in 2010, including Herman Leonard, Brandon Franklin, Albert "June" Gardner, Walter Payton, and many more that are sorely missed. During their lives, they made New Orleans and jazz music better for their dedicat... Read more

In Memoriam: Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson

Sun, 03/21/10
Authored by Mike Kobrin
We are sad to report that drummer Bernard "Bunchy" Johnson passed away on Sunday, March 21. A native of both the Uptown and Treme neighborhoods of New Orleans, Bunchy Johnson had plenty of childhood experience second-lining with Mardi Gras Indians and brass bands. While s... Read more

In Memoriam: Marva Wright, Blues Queen of New Orleans

Tue, 03/23/10
Authored by Mike Kobrin
On March 23, Marva Wright, the Blues Queen of New Orleans, suffered a stroke and passed away. Our sincerest condolences go out to her loved ones. She will be deeply missed by blues lovers all around the world, and by her friends and supporters here at 'OZ. There will be a wake... Read more

In Memoriam: 2009

Wed, 01/06/10
During 2009 we lost some amazing musicians and friends, including Snooks Eaglin, Eddie Bo, and Antoinette K-Doe, who've contributed richness to the musical tapestry of New Orleans and the world. Join us in remembering their songs and their spirits, and add your own tributes to... Read more

Juanita Brooks: 1954-2009

Wed, 09/16/09
Authored by Mike Kobrin
The sassy vocalist and talented actress Juanita Brooks passed away Thursday, September 10, at the age of 55. She was a dear friend to WWOZ and delighted moved audiences with her singing and acting, performing alongside greats like Eddie Bo, Bob French, and Germaine Bazzle, as ... Read more

In Memoriam: Guitar Legend Les Paul

Thu, 08/20/09
Authored by Mike Kobrin
Guitarist, entertainer, inventor, and recording pioneer Les Paul passed away on August 13 at the age of 94. His musical career spanned an astonishing eight decades, and the guitar he designed with Gibson is one of the most recognizable in the world. We collected some of our fa... Read more

In Memoriam: St. Aug Band Director Edwin Hampton

Mon, 07/27/09
Authored by Mike Kobrin
St. Augustine High School's legendary "Marching 100" is mourning the loss of its esteemed founder and long-time band master, Edwin Hampton, who passed away peacefully on July 21. He was 81 years old. Arriving at the school in 1952, Mr. Hampton immediately set about startin... Read more

The Music World Mourns Two More

Thu, 06/11/09
Authored by Mike Kobrin
On June 3, 2009, the music world lost two bright stars, saxophonist Sam Butera (81) and singer Koko Taylor (80). Sam Butera was born and raised in New Orleans, where his father, Joe, operated Poor Boy's Grocery and Meat Market. He got his professional music career started... Read more

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