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Dr. John

Although he didn't become widely known until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements fused with New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. He's also quite accomplished and enjoyable when sticking to purely traditional forms of blues and R&B. On record, he veers between the two approaches, making for an inconsistent and frequently frustrating legacy that often makes the listener feel as if "the Night Tripper" (as he's nicknamed himself) has been underachieving.

In the late '50s, Rebennack gained prominence in the New Orleans R&B scene as a session keyboardist and guitarist, contributing to records by Professor Longhair, Frankie Ford, and Joe Tex. He also recorded some overlooked singles of his own, and by the '60s had expanded into production and arranging. After a gun accident damaged his hand in the early '60s, he gave up the guitar to concentrate exclusively on keyboards. Skirting trouble with the law and drugs, he left the increasingly unwelcome environs of New Orleans in the mid-'60s for Los Angeles, where he found session work with the help of fellow New Orleans expatriate Harold Battiste. Rebennack renamed himself Dr. John, The Night Tripper when he recorded his first album, Gris-Gris. According to legend, this was hurriedly cut with leftover studio time from a Sonny & Cher session, but it never sounded hastily conceived. In fact, its mix of New Orleans R&B with voodoo sounds and a tinge of psychedelia was downright enthralling, and may have resulted in his greatest album.

He began building an underground following with both his music and his eccentric stage presence, which found him conducting ceremonial-type events in full Mardi Gras costume. Dr. John was nothing if not eclectic, and his next few albums were granted mixed critical receptions because of their unevenness and occasional excess. They certainly had their share of admirable moments, though, and Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger helped out on The Sun, Moon & Herbs in 1971. The following year's Gumbo, produced by Jerry Wexler, proved Dr. John was a master of traditional New Orleans R&B styles, in the mold of one of his heroes, Professor Longhair. In 1973, he got his sole big hit, "In the Right Place," which was produced by Allen Toussaint, with backing by the Meters. In the same year, he also recorded with Mike Bloomfield and John Hammond, Jr. for the Triumvirate album.

The rest of the decade, unfortunately, was pretty much a waste musically. Dr. John could always count on returning to traditional styles for a good critical reception, and he did so constantly in the '80s. There were solo piano albums, sessions with Chris Barber and Jimmy Witherspoon, and In a Sentimental Mood (1989), a record of pop standards. These didn't sell all that well, though. A more important problem was that he was capable of much more than recastings of old styles and material. In fact, by this time he was usually bringing in the bacon not through his own music, but via vocals for numerous commercial jingles. It continued pretty much in the same vein throughout the '90s: New Orleans super sessions for the Bluesiana albums, another outing with Chris Barber, an album of New Orleans standards, and another album of pop standards.

In 1994, Television did at least offer some original material. At this point he began to rely more upon cover versions for the bulk of his recorded work, though his interpretive skills will always ensure that these are more interesting than most such efforts. His autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon, was published by St. Martin's Press in 1994, and in 1998 he resurfaced with Anutha Zone, which featured collaborations with latter-day performers including Spiritualized, Paul Weller, Supergrass, and Ocean Colour Scene. Duke Elegant followed in early 2000. Additional albums for Blue Note followed in 2001 (Creole Moon) and 2004 (N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'Udda). Sippiana Hericane, a four-song EP celebrating his beloved hometown of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, arrived in November of 2005. Mercernary, an album of covers of songs made famous by Johnny Mercer, appeared on Blue Note in 2006. City That Care Forgot followed in 2008. The Night Tripper persona was revived for 2010's Tribal, which featured guest spots from Derek Trucks, Allen Toussaint, Donald Harrison, and the late Bobby Charles. Dr. John also contributed to French electronic artist Féloche's international hit single "Gris Gris John" the same year. He teamed up with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach to produce and record Locked Down. It was issued in the spring of 2012. Two years later, he released the third album in his tribute series, a collection of songs by and associated with Louis Armstrong entitled Ske-Dat-De-Dat: Spirit of Satch. It featured guest appearances from Bonnie Raitt, Ledisi, and the McCrary Sisters, and Blind Boys of Alabama, and appeared in August of 2014. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Ske-Dat-De-Dat... The Spirit Of Satch

5. Gut Bucket Blues (Feat. Nicholas Payton)

6. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Feat. Anthony Hamilton)

10. Dippermouth Blues (Feat. James "12" Andrews)

11. Sweet Hunk O'Trash (Feat. Shemekia Copeland)

12. Memories Of You (Feat. Arturo Sandoval)

13. When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) (Feat. Dirty Dozen Brass Band)

x

Track List: Locked Down

1. Locked Down

2. Revolution

3. Big Shot

4. Ice Age

5. Getaway

6. Kingdom Of Izzness

7. You Lie

8. Eleggua

9. My Children, My Angels

10. God's Sure Good

x

Track List: Voodoo Hex

2. She's Just A Square

3. Zu Zu Man

5. One Night Late

6. In The Night

7. Did She Mention My Name

8. The Grass Looks Greener Yonder

9. New Orleans

10. Bald Headed

11. The Time Had Come

12. Loser For You Baby

13. The Ear Is On Strike

14. A Little Closer To My Home

16. Go Ahead On

17. Just Like A Mirror

18. Bring Your Love

19. Make Your Own

x

Track List: Trader John's Crawfish Soiree

Disc 1

1. You're Just Too Square (You Ain't Nowhere)

2. Trader John

3. Cat & Mouse Game

4. Helping Hand

5. Go Ahead On

6. Loser For You

7. One Night Late

8. I Pulled The Cover Offa You Two Lovers

9. New Orleans

10. The Ear Is On Strike

11. Just Like A Mirror

12. Della (Part 1)

Disc 2

1. Crawfish Soiree (Bring Your Own Along)

2. Tipitina

3. In The Night

4. Woman Is The Root Of All Evil

5. The Time Had Come

6. Shoo Raa

7. Zu Zu Man

8. Baldhead

9. Mean Cheatin' Woman

10. Make Your Own Bed Well

11. A Little Closer To My Home

12. Della (Part 2)

x

Track List: What Goes Around (Comes Around)

1. In The Night

2. A Quitter Never Wins

3. Danger Zone

4. Whichever Way The Wind Blows

5. Helpin' Hand

7. Mean Cheatin' Woman

8. Shoo Ra

9. Bald Headed

10. Woman Is The Root Of All Evil

11. Scrubbin'

12. Qualified

13. Tipitina

14. Just Like A Mirror

15. Mama Roux

x

Track List: Mercernary

1. Blues In The Night

2. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

3. Personally

4. Hit The Road To Dreamland

5. I'm An Old Cowhand

6. Dream

7. Lazy Bones

8. That Old Black Magic

9. Come Rain Or Come Shine

10. Moon River

11. Tangerine

12. I Ain't No Johnny Mercer

13. Save The Bones For Henry Jones

x

Track List: Live At Montreux 1995

1. Iko Iko

2. Renegade

3. Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)

4. Tell Me You'll Wait for Me

5. Blue Skies

6. Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You

7. Right Place, Wrong Time

8. Makin' Whoopee

9. Goin' Back to New Orleans

10. The Big Bass Drum (On a Mardi Gras Day) / I Shall Not Be Moved

11. Mess Around

x

Track List: The Best Of The Parlophone Years

1. Zonata

2. I Like Ki Yoka

3. It Don't Mean A Thing

4. Voices In My Head

5. Marie Laveau

6. Party Hellfire

7. Now That You Got Me

8. Hen Layin' Rooster

9. I Ate Up The Apple Tree

10. I'm Gonna Go Fishing

11. Hello God

12. Food For Thot

13. I Don't Wanna Know

14. Lay My Burden Down

15. Sweet Home New Orleans

16. Careless Love

17. Look Out

x

Track List: N'Awlinz: Dis, Dat Or D'Udda

1. Quatre Parishe

2. When The Saints Go Marching In (feat. Mavis Staples)

3. Lay My Burden Down (feat. Mavis Staples & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band)

4. Marie Laveau (feat. Cyril Neville & The Mardi Gras Indians)

5. Dear Old Southland (feat. Nicholas Payton)

6. Dis, Dat Or D'Udda

7. Chickee Le Pas (feat. Cyril Neville & The Mardi Gras Indians)

8. The Monkey (feat. Eddie Bo& Dave Bartholemew)

9. Shango Tango (feat. Willie Tee)

10. I Ate Up The Apple Tree (feat. Randy Newman)

11. You Ain't Such A Much (feat. Willie Nelson & Snooks Eaglin)

12. Life Is A One Way Ticket

13. Hen Layin' Rooster (feat. B.B. King & Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown)

14. Stakalee

15. Eh Las Bas (feat. Leroy Jones)

16. St. James Infirmary (feat. Eddie Bo)

17. Time Marches On (feat. B.B. King, Willie Nelson & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band)

18. I'm Goin Home (feat. Cyril Neville)

x

Track List: Afterglow

1. I Know What I've Got

2. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You

3. I'm Just A Lucky So And So

4. Blue Skies

5. So Long

6. New York City Blues

7. Tell Me You'll Wait For Me

8. There Must Be A Better World Somewhere

9. I Still Think About You

10. I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)

x

Track List: Television

1. Television

2. Lissen

3. Limbo

4. Witchy Red

5. Shadows

6. Shut D Fonk Up

7. Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Again)

8. Spaceship Relationship

9. Money (That's What I Want)

10. U Lie 2 Much

11. Same Day Service

x

Track List: Goin' Back To New Orleans 1992

1. Litanie Des Saints

2. Careless Love

3. My Indian Red

4. Milneburg Joys

5. I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say

6. Basin Street Blues

7. Didn't He Ramble

8. Do You Call That A Buddy

9. How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around

10. Goodnight Irene

12. Since I Fell For You

13. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You

14. Cabbage Head

15. Goin' Home Tomorrow

16. Blue Monday

18. Goin' Back To New Orleans

x

Track List: In A Sentimental Mood

1. Makin' Whoopee

2. Candy

3. Accentuate The Positive

4. My Buddy

5. In A Sentimental Mood

6. Black Night

7. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'

8. Love For Sale

9. More Than You Know

x

Track List: In The Right Place

1. Right Place Wrong Time

2. Same Old Same Old

3. Just The Same

4. Qualified

5. Traveling Mood

6. Peace Brother Peace

7. Life

8. Such A Night

9. Shoo Fly Marches On

10. I Been Hoodood

11. Cold Cold Cold

x

Track List: Dr. John's Gumbo

1. Iko Iko

2. Blow Wind Blow

3. Big Chief

4. Sombody Changed The Lock

5. Mess Around

6. Let the Good Times Roll

7. Junko Partner

8. Stack-A-Lee

9. Tipitina

10. Those Lonely Lonely Nights

11. Huey Smith Medley: a. High Blood Pressure, b. Don't You Just Know It, c. Well I'll Be John Brown

12. Little Liza Jane

x

Track List: Gris-Gris

1. Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

2. Danse Kalinda Ba Doom

3. Mama Roux

4. Danse Fambeaux

5. Croker Courtbullion

6. Jump Sturdy

7. I Walk On Guilded Splinters

x

Track List: City Lights

1. Dance The Night Away With You

2. Street Side

3. Wild Honey

4. Rain

5. Snake Eyes

6. Fire Of Love

7. He's A Hero

8. City Lights

x

Track List: Desitively Bonnaroo

1. Quitters Never Win

2. Stealin'

3. What Comes Around (Goes Around)

5. Mos' Scocious

6. (Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away

7. Let's Make A Better World

8. R U 4 Real

9. Sing Along Song

10. Can't Git Enuff

11. Go Tell The People

12. Desitively Bonnaroo

x

Track List: Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack: The Legendary Sessions Vol. 2

1. Saddle The Cow

2. Boxcar Boogie

3. The Brightest Smile In Town

4. Waiting For A Train

5. Monkey Puzzle

6. Touro Infirmary

7. Medley: Just A Closer Walk With Thee / Didn't He Ramble

8. Your Average Kind Of Guy

9. Pretty Libby

10. Marie La Veau

11. Come Rain Or Come Shine

12. Suite Home New Orleans

13. Key To The Highway

14. Mississippi Mud

15. Lowdown Worried And Blue

16. Sippiana Midnight

17. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu

18. Yesterdays

x

Track List: Going Back To New Orleans

1. Litanie Des Saints

2. Careless Love

3. My Indian Red

4. Milneburg Joys

5. I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say

6. Basin Street Blues

7. Didn't He Ramble

8. Do You Call That A Buddy?

10. Good Night, Irene

12. Since I Fell For You

13. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You

14. Cabbage Head

15. Goin' Home Tomorrow

16. Blue Monday

18. Goin' Back To New Orleans

x

Track List: Loser For You Baby

1. Loser For You Baby

2. The Ear Is On Strike

3. A Little Closer To My Home

4. I Pulled The Cover Off You Two Lovers

5. Go Ahead

6. Just Like A Mirror

7. Bring Your Love

8. Make Your Own

9. The Time Had Come

10. Woman Is The Root Of All Evil

11. One Night Late (Instrumental)

12. Cat And Mouse Game

13. She's Just A Square

14. Bald Head

15. Trader-John

16. In The Night

17. Zuzu Man

Comments

Report as inappropriate
The good doctor still very liked in his home town New Orleans la.Lakeview he is the man Geaux Mac rebenack.
Report as inappropriate
❤❤❤❤❤
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Cool music I love this movie
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✋ ( high-five )
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Check out his Makin' Whoopee duet with Rickie Lee Jones on In A Sentimental Mood. Best version I ever heard!
Report as inappropriate
Dr john
Report as inappropriate
Ebt can't get in wife's name sexist as hell in Pensacola
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Sang it
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Dr. John & Professor Longhair & Huey Smith can play that piano
Report as inappropriate
jamesmoses46
the night tripper!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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RAW, RAUNCHY, FESTIVE AND UPBEAT....GR E A T
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Omg love this! And dreams do come true!?
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crazyshorty8 5 7
Iphone iphone iphone iphone iphone red
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Jazz?yes yes just yes only thing better is bluegrass!!
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dancingkingw o l f 6 6
Beautiful voice
Report as inappropriate
snow.family7
Awesome voice
Report as inappropriate
Mac's da man!
Report as inappropriate
Love his style of song and his voice is so captivating. . .
Report as inappropriate
His voice is amazing
Report as inappropriate
Love the movie
Report as inappropriate
Love dr johns voice
Report as inappropriate
Love this song
Report as inappropriate
italiaangel9 4
Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Close your hand
Pick a school day
Post this 15 times and your crush will ask you out that day
Report as inappropriate
rearose_estr a d a 0 2 2 2
Yshujnddiddn d j d n d d u d u d u d u d u d i d u r h i d j r u r h r u r j r h e i r u r j e j d u j r u d j d j r j d i d u r u d i r u d u e j r j e u r u e i r r j u r r u e b e r h j e u r h e u u r u h e r u e e u b u e u e u r e e h e u r y e u e u e u e e h r u u e h e r u e r r h e j e u e u r u r u e h r u r y r u r u r u e u r y e h r h e h e h u r h r r u e r r r u e u e r h h e u e e e h u j h e u r h e j u e y e r e y e e u e u r y e s h e y y f j f t i d j d u j d u d h d n d j d d j i d d j j d u d j d b d u d i d u d j d u d j u i t y y t t y t i y y . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
This was the joint back on the day!! Love this song! Soulful and filled with funk! The Dr was the bomb!
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Cool music
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Oh what I would give for a fresh beignet
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I love your movie
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Dr. John is a national treasure.
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I love dis movie
Report as inappropriate
Love the good doctor.....
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Mr. John is so good
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Wait he's white I thought he was black. Not trying to be mean
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He's got hits, He's got soul and groove, one of the best in NOLA, and like many other musicians got into too much drugs, and it killed part of his soul and motivation to really make something out of the back end of his career, Toussaint is aging more gracefully, seems like an accurate bio for him
Report as inappropriate
Love this movie an all the songs
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bkguillory4
I like this song cause I live in Louisana and not far from New Orleans
Report as inappropriate
I love this song it is happy and awesome it inspires you
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fhydvbhfvbjh g f g
BRING ON THE VOODOO DR.!!!!!!!!! ! ! !
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maas237
I can dance to this song really good but with my best friends. Love this song!!!!!
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rgeders
Great song
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Omg I love u dr.john :) <3
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The princess and the frog........ . . . N e w Orleans..... . !
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i love this song
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love this movie
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tapcitymama, just don't swear, this is a Disney station!!!
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Down in New Orleeens!
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Y do u say that
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No there won't
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Say i-phone 5 times, post this on two other song and there will be an i-phone under your pillow the next morning.
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My dad does the digital editing for the cover of this movie
Show more

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