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Mardi Gras At The Fish Fry

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The Mardi Gras celebration begins this weekend in New Orleans and on tonight's Fish Fry!

Touted as America's biggest party, Mardi Gras (French for "Fat  Tuesday") is traditionally a time for eating and enjoying richly before the Lenten season. The celebration in New Orleans stems from a mixture of cultures which is also often touted as the founding factor in the birth  of jazz music.

New Orleans was the only city in the United States where slaves were allowed to own drums, and they were often given permission to gather, in Congo Square for example, for drumming and dancing. Historians theorize that as African and Caribbean inhabitants began to collaborate and mix their percussion rhythms with European brass and string music, they developed a sound uniquely theirs, which became the New Orleans jazz sound.

One example of this sound is the second line. This is the name for a less formal brass band, and the people walking and dancing with it, which follows the main line of a parade. A second line is traditionally a brass band that plays at community celebrations, including jazz funerals, with a distinctive drum beat and dancers waving umbrellas and handkerchiefs as they strut with the band. Second lines play throughout the year in New Orleans, and often bring up the rear during a Mardi Gras Indian parade, in which Native Americans who sheltered escaped slaves are honored by troupes of these minorities' descendents.

This weekend's playlist features sounds and influences from the varied roots of New Orleans jazz. The videos below, via youtube, sample several songs and showcase a recent jazz funeral.






1 Louis Jordan/Saturday Night Fish Fry
2 Professor Longhair/Mardi Gras in New Orleans
3 Joe Liggins/Going Back to New Orleans
4 Percy Mayfield/Louisiana
5 Marcia Ball/That's Enough of That Stuff
6 Ronnie Barron/Bon Ton Roule
7 Steve Riley/New Orleans Beat
8 Billie Holiday/Do You Know What It Means to Miss N.O
9 Jack Teagarden/Basin Street Blues
10 Jimmy Rushing/New Orleans
11 Wild Magnolias/New Suit
12 Andre Tanker/Wild Indian Band
13 Black Orpheus/O Nosso Amor
14 Al Johnson/Carnival Time
15 Litle Queenie/My Darlin' New Orleans
16 Rosie Ledet/The Mardi Gras

2nd Hour

17 Chuck Carbo/Hey, Mardi Gras (Here I Am)
18 Oliver Morgan/Who Shot the LaLa
19 Buckwheat Zydeco/Ya Ya
20 Jelly Roll Morton/Ungai Hai, the Sign of the Indians
21 Wild Tchoupitoulas/Indian Red
22 Professor Longhair/Big Chief
23 Soul Rebels/Say Na Hey
24 Kermit Ruffins/I'll Drink Ta Dat
25 Rebirth Brass Band/Do Whatcha Wanna
26 Hawkettes/Mardi Gras Mambo
27 Alvin Red Tyler/Peanut Vendor
28 Shirley & Lee/Let the Good Time Roll

3rd Hour

29 Alvin Robinson/Down Home Girl
30 Stop, Inc./Second Line
31 Jon Cleary/C'Mon Second Line
32 Snooks Eaglin/I Went to the Mardi Gras
33 Chris Kenner/I Like It Like That
34 Lee Dorsey/Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley
35 Paul Simon/Take Me to the Mardi Gras
36 John Boutte/At the Foot of Canal Street
37 Olympia Brass Band/Bourbon Street Parade
38 Treme Brass Band/Gimmie My Money Back
39 Beau Jocque/Beau's Mardi Gras
40 Zachary Richard/Handa Wanda

4th Hour

41 Sugarboy Crawford/Jockomo
42 Dixie Cups/Iko Iko
43 Neville Brothers/Brother John/Iko Iko
44 Meters/Talkin' 'Bout New Orleans
45 John Mooney/In the Night
46 Clarence Garlow/Bon Ton Roule
47 Hank/On a Mardi Gras Day
48 Party Boys/We Got a Party
49 Lil' Bob/I Got Loaded
50 Earl King/Mardi Gras in the City
51 Champion Jack Dupree/Way Down
52 Deacon John/Going Back to New Orleans
53 Wild Magnolias/Life is a Carnival
54 New Orleans Nightcrawlers/Funky Liza
55 Kermit Ruffins/Do the Fat Tuesday
56 Parade of the Krewe Momus/When the Saints Go Marching In

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