Danny and Blue Lu Barker, a lifelong musical team from New Orleans

Louise “Blue Lu” Barker

1913 – 1998

By Ben Sandmel

Guitarist, banjoist, singer, composer, and writer Daniel Moses Barker (1909-1994) and vocalist Louise Dupont “Blue Lu” Barker (1913-1998) were a New Orleans jazz and blues husband and wife team. In 1930 they left New Orleans for New York, where Danny’s uncle Paul Barbarin had numerous musical connections. During the 1930s and 40s Barker worked notably in the bands of Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter, and Cab Calloway, and from 1938 he recorded extensively with Blue Lu, including his composition Don’t You Make Me High, which became a hit for Decca in that year. The Barkers returned to New Orleans in the 1960s and in the 1970s Danny Barker organized the Fairview Baptist Church Christian Band, which resuscitated a waning brass band tradition by attracting youngsters into the fold.