Mac Rebennack, know throughout the world as Dr. John died yesterday at the age of 77. From his early days studying under Professor Longhair, through his studio session work playing on some of the biggest hits of the 60’s, through his Gris Gris early solo albums, through his deep funk, there really is no part of modern American music that Dr. John wasn’t a part of. As the favorite son of New Orleans, Dr. John was the the greatest interpreter of the classic New Orleans songbook. While he put out many classic albums, is very best moments were always live, lets look at some of them
5: Big Chief
Dr. John was always known as the greatest interpreter of classic New Orleans music. And he always made time for those influences throughout his career. Here he is paying tribute to his biggest influence Professor Longhair. Backed by The Meters, this was quite a sound for 1974.
4: Reggae Doctor
The albums that Dr. John put out in the 1970’s, while classic, failed to capture the energy and spontaneity of his life performances. Dr. John’s manager came up with the idea to dress the recording studio up as a night club complete with a live audience to capture the full effect. Hollywood Be Thy Name was Dr. John’s first live album and gave people a taste world wide of his great performances.
3: Boogie Chillen
Some of Dr. John’s best performances were when he was playing with his famous friends like this guest appearance with The Rolling Stones shows. Stones, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton and Dr. John is simply thrilling.
2: Right Place Wrong Time
One of Dr. John’s earliest admirers was Eric Clapton and that interplay shows so well in this live clip from VH-1.
1: Such A Night
When The Band decided to film their final concert as The Last Waltz, they brought in a who’s who of rock and blues music to help out. Dr. John’s performance of Such A Night is a showstopper among an entire concert of showstoppers. RIP Mac