November 30th, 1899
Battle on Canal St.
November 30th, 1899
1915 new Orleans hurricane
November 30th, 1899
April 13th, 1926
Born In New Orleans
Cosimo (usually pronounced “Cosmo”) Matassa was born in New Orleans on April 13, 1926. Besides his grocery business, John Matassa and his partner Joe Mancuso ran J&M Amusement Services, placing jukeboxes in bars and restaurants on commission.
January 14th, 1938
Born and raised in Gert Town, New Orleans
Toussaint grew up in a shotgun house in the New Orleans neighborhood of Gert Town, where his mother welcomed and fed all manner of musicians as they practiced and recorded with her son.
Joins the Navy
Lee Dorsey joins the Navy. While serving on a U. S. Navy destroyer during World War II (1939-1945), Dorsey was injured when a Japanese fighter plane attacked his ship.
January 24th, 1941
Aaron Neville born in New Orleans, LA
In 1947, brothers David and Julius Braun of New Jersey label DeLuxe Records made a trip to New Orleans, looking for undiscovered jazz and blues talent to record. Upon discovering Matassa’s studio, the Brauns realized they could save money by recording artists in New Orleans rather than taking them back to New Jersey.
Joins the Dew Drop Set
Toussaint introduced to a group of local musicians who perform regularly at a night club on LaSalle street Uptown; they are known as the Dew Drop Set.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7388762@N03/2346173516/in/pool-650426@N24
In 1957, Dorsey was working at a body shop owned by local DJ “Ernie the Whip” when talent scout Reynauld Richard heard him singing and invited Dorsey to Cosimo Matassa’s recording studio that evening. The result was Dorsey’s first single, “Rock Pretty Baby,” released on the Rex label.
“Mother-in-Law” is a hit 1961 single by Ernie K-Doe. The song was a number-one hit in the U.S. on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The song was written and produced by Allen Toussaint who also played the piano solo. It was issued by Minit Records.
Working In The Coal Mine
After he returned to New Orleans from the Army (from 1963 – 65), Toussaint formed a production company, Sansu, with partner Marshall Sehorn. A number of singles, performed by Lee Dorsey, followed in 1965-66, including “Working in the Coal Mine”.
It was a hit for Lee Dorsey, released on Amy Records (catalog no. 958), and entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on July 23, 1966, eventually peaking at #8, while reaching #5 on the Billboard R&B chart.
Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn created the Sea-Saint recording studio in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans.
He teams up with Labelle, and produces their highly acclaimed album Nightbirds, which spawned the Number One hit, “Lady Marmalade”.
August 29th, 2005
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive and costly natural disaster in U.S. history, came ashore near the border between Mississippi and Louisiana. A year after the storm, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals recorded 1,464 deceased victims of Katrina in the state. The death and destruction from the hurricane and the subsequent flooding brought international media attention to Louisiana and prompted heated debate about the effectiveness of local, state, and federal officials in preparing for the storm and responding to its aftermath.
In anticipation of the storm, officials in Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes declared a mandatory evacuation on August 27, 2005. The same day, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco held a press conference to discuss the potential severity of the storm. Nagin declared a state of emergency in New Orleans but did not order a mandatory evacuation until August 28. Using a contraflow system, in which inbound road lanes were used for outgoing traffic, officials evacuated an estimated 1.2 million people, 92 percent of the affected population, before Katrina came ashore. Despite the evacuation order, approximately 100,000 people remained in the city as the hurricane came ashore, many because they lacked transportation. Hundreds of those left behind died in the subsequent flooding.
The eye of Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Buras in Plaquemines Parish at approximately 6:00 a.m. on August 29 as a Category 3 hurricane. (Weather forecasters classify hurricane strength on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest.) At landfall, Katrina’s maximum winds were about 125 miles per hour (mph) to the east of its center. Shortly before landfall, Katrina was moving at 12 mph, a relatively slow speed for hurricanes. A slow-moving storm, however, can be more destructive than one that moves quickly. At 5:00 a.m., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a report that the 17th Street Canal had been breached. At 8:14 a.m., the Industrial Canal was breached, flooding the Lower Ninth Ward. By 4 p.m., the London Avenue Canal levees had breached as well, leaving approximately 80 percent of the city underwater.
Beyond New Orleans, Katrina caused severe destruction along the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Texas. In Louisiana, the storm destroyed nearly every building in lower Plaquemines Parish. In St. Bernard Parish, a massive storm surge sent water over the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the Industrial Canal, submerging 95 percent of the parish. In St. Tammany Parish, more than 40,000 homes were damaged and almost 20,000 by flooding. In addition, Katrina caused power outages in 1.1 million homes and other buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi. The storm also forced the temporary shutdown of eight Louisiana oil refineries, whose output accounted for 8 percent of U.S refining capacity.
Before the storm made landfall, the New Orleans Superdome was opened as a shelter of last resort for those who had not evacuated. By August 31, about 26,000 people had filled the Superdome, which lacked the food, electrical power, and bathroom facilities to accommodate all of them. Stranded evacuees also occupied the Ernest J. Morial Convention Center. One estimate suggested that as many as 25,000 evacuees crowded the center, which also lacked provisions and accommodations for those who sheltered there. Some of these evacuees were transported to the Houston Astrodome, which was opened shortly after the storm to those seeking shelter. Efforts to evacuate the occupants of the Superdome and Convention Center to safety were not completed until September 3.
An estimated 4,000 evacuees were stranded on the Interstate 10 overpass in New Orleans. In addition, hundreds of hospital staff members and patients were stranded in New Orleans after Katrina, and all but one of the hospitals was without power. A lack of supplies complicated efforts to treat the patients. In the week following the storm, more than 3,000 patients were evacuated by air from a medical treatment operation established at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the largest such air evacuation in history. The hospitals were not fully evacuated, however, until September 2.
Katrina greatly disrupted communications within Louisiana, knocking down cell phone and radio towers and preventing officers with the New Orleans Police Department from talking with each other. Looting throughout New Orleans was widespread in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
As the rebuilding process began, state, local, and federal officials traded blame for delays in the evacuation, which became a subject of prolonged controversy. Widespread criticism of the federal response to Katrina led to the resignation of Michael Brown as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. His successor, R. David Paulison, promised to reform agency operations. Even after Brown's departure, criticism of the Bush administration's Katrina response continued, figuring into the 2008 presidential race. After facing heated criticism for her role in Katrina's response and recovery efforts, Blanco announced on March 20, 2007, that she would not seek reelection.
Katrina also prompted an extensive public debate about the failure of New Orleans' levees, which are overseen by local levee boards and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2006, Blanco signed a law to consolidate levee boards and streamline oversight. The same year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for levee design, issued a report acknowledging that design flaws in the levees caused most of the flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina
Hall of Fame
Allen Toussaint is inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame.