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City of a Million DreamsNew Orleans at Year 300$
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Jason Berry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469647142

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469647142.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Last Days of Danny Barker

The Last Days of Danny Barker

(p.257) 13 The Last Days of Danny Barker
City of a Million Dreams

Jason Berry

University of North Carolina Press

Danny Barker was a musician, writer, and storyteller who reveled in narration: written, sung, or spoken. He grew up in a storied family of New Orleans music. Four of Danny’s uncles were musicians, and Danny himself worked at a dime-a-dance place. He courted Louisa Dupont, a Tremé-born Creole, when he was eighteen and she was thirteen. They married three years later in 1930. Well-paying gigs in New Orleans were evaporating during the Great Depression, so Danny and Louisa went to live with Danny’s uncle, Paul Barbarin, and his friend, Red Allen, in New York. Danny found success as a musician, writer, and songwriter, and learned the art of storytelling from his role model Jelly Roll Morton. Louisa, taking on the stage name Blue Lu, made a name for herself as a singer. The couple had a daughter, Sylvia. The two eventually moved back to New Orleans. Danny died on March 13, 1994. He had told Louisa that he didn’t want a jazz funeral, feeling that burial parades were getting too wild, but his band members and friends persuaded her otherwise. The 1994 funeral parade for Danny was among the most beautiful in recent memory.

Keywords:   Danny Barker, Daniel Joseph Barker, Louisa Dupont, Blue Lu, Jazz, Paul Barbarin, Red Allen, New York, Jelly Roll Morton

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