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Danny Barker

A humorous personality as important for his storytelling and teaching as for his playing, Danny Barker had a long and colorful career. He played with the Boozan Kings early on in New Orleans and toured Mississippi with Little Brother Montgomery. In 1930, he moved to New York, switching from banjo to guitar and working with Dave Nelson, Sidney Bechet, Fess Williams, Albert Nicholas, James P. Johnson, Lucky Millinder (1937-1938), Benny Carter (1938), and Cab Calloway (1939-1946). He wrote "Don't You Feel My Leg" for his wife Blue Lu Barker (with whom he recorded frequently) and also had a hit with "Save the Bones for Henry Jones" (recorded by Nat King Cole). By 1947, Barker was fully involved in the Dixieland revival (he never cared for bebop), appearing on the This Is Jazz radio series, recording with Bunk Johnson, and returning to the banjo. He performed at Ryan's throughout the 1950s (often with Conrad Janis or Wilbur DeParis) and then returned to New Orleans in 1965 where he worked as the assistant curator of the New Orleans Jazz Museum (1965-1975), led the Onward Brass Band, encouraged younger players, and wrote about his experiences. Danny Barker, who appeared at the 1993 Monterey Jazz Festival with Milt Hinton, penned his memoirs (A Life in Jazz) in 1986 and was active in keeping New Orleans jazz alive up until to the end. His definitive recording is a solo set for Orleans; Barker can also be heard late in life on records by Wynton Marsalis and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Vol. 1 1921-1949

Disc 1

1. When The Saints Go Marching In

2. Maple Leaf Rag

3. Tiger Rag

4. A Handful Of Riffs

5. Perdido Street Blues

8. Sweet Mumtaz

10. Root Hog Or Die

13. Dear Old Southland

14. Sous Les Palmiers

16. King Porter Stomp

17. Besame Mucho

21. Eh La Bas

Disc 2

1. St James Infirmary

3. James Alley Blues

4. Crazy Cryin' Blues

5. New Orleans Joys

6. Old New Orleans Blues

8. Black Snake Blues

10. Funny Feathers

11. Louisiana Bound

12. Bread And Water Blues

13. Allons A Lafayette

16. Cabbage Greens No. 1

19. New Low Down Dog

20. I'm Cuttin' Out

21. Sidney's Blues

22. Just As Soon As I Go Home

23. Hackberry Hop

25. Junker Blues

26. Box Car Shorty And Peter Blue

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