Book tip: "Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans"

Ben Sandmel

The Historic New Orleans Collection

If any one musical artist embodies ALL of the Crescent City elements and personalities shaken and stirred in one Mardi Gras-hued brain, it was Ernie K-Doe. Yes, he had a modestly successful career as an R&B singer (most notably for "Mother-in-Law"), but he was a terrific entertainer, an amazing disc jockey for the hometown WWOZ radio station, and held court for years at his own Mother-in-Law Lounge. What a life! The musicians and personalities he knew, and the adventures he had, were absolutely unique. And Sandmel, a fine musician in his own right, writes eloquently and wittily in this gorgeously constructed book. People all the time ask me what's magical about New Orleans. Read this, folks.

- RICK KOSTER

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