Well, I never thought it’d happen to lil’ ole me but my new book, Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour, has been on Amazon for almost a year now and it’s still a bestseller, in the top 5 in its category!
Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour Remains Bestseller on Amazon!
So here’s an interview I did with monster Internet maven Dion GeBorde about alla dat.
Click the Buy Now button below to get your copy of my bestselling travel guide
Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour
It used to be $0.99. Now you can get it for only $3.47.
But hurry, I may be raising the price in the near future. So now is the time to get it.
Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. You can get a free Kindle reader for your computer. Download the Kindle app. for your Mac HERE. Download the Kindle app. for your PC HERE.
Imagine being a side-kick to one of the more colorful characters of the New Orleans underworld and getting to see first hand all the crooked dealings and juicy tidbits of famous celebrities and Louisiana politicians. Well, that’s what it’s like to read Matthew Randazzo’s new book Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld Legend.
Frenchy Brouillette and Torrid Tales of New Orleans Underworld – Book Review
This first person account of the alternate reality of the Crescent City unfolds like a quirky novel. Randazzo interviewed the colorful and well-liked gangster Frenchy Brouillete for several years even at times when Frenchy was on the lam from the law, which seemed to be most of the time.
The book is a real page turner that lays out the life of this Cajun boy from the little town of Marksville that produced not only Frenchy but Edwin Edwards, a distant cousin who became one of the most corrupt Louisiana governors in history.
In fact, as Frenchy tells it, Edwards did things so corrupt that Huey Long, another corrupt Louisiana governor, couldn’t have even imagined doing.
Not only is this an intimate and fascinating account of a legendary New Orleans mobster, it’s got to be one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while and found myself laughing out loud several times.
To read about the corruption that was rife in the French Quarter and the main characters involved all the way from the famous madame Norma Wallace, one of Frenchy’s best friends and mentors, to his friendship with possibly the most notorious Mafia figure in American history, yes, our own Carlos Marcello, to incredibly corrupt politicians, one being a famous New Orleans district attorney, and a well-known TV personality and newsman whose public persona was quite the opposite of his private one, is to get an inside glimpse, sometimes uncomfortable, of how the “other half” lives. Some of his revelations about local well-known characters are in fact shocking.
Frenchy was even friends with the world-famous, flamboyant pianist Liberace who would call him up whenever he came into town because he enjoyed his company and depended upon the gangster to show him a good time. Also, a good bit of the book is dedicated to the characters apparently involved in the Kennedy assassination and the Mafia’s and the CIA’s role in it. Frenchy knew these people, some of them very well.
Unfortunately for us, Frenchy was murdered in 2015 apparently by his roommate after they supposedly got into an argument. Knowing this as you read the book and characters he exposes involved in the New Orleans underworld, you wonder if someone didn’t have it out for him. He even mentions that he wouldn’t be telling his story if any of the people he talks about were still alive. You can read more about this from The Times Picayune.
The book is worth reading as not only a historical piece but as one that delves into the psychology of someone who is unapologetic of his chronically criminal past. As he puts it, his childhood in Marksville was boring and just could not see himself in his father’s business doing hard manual labor for the rest of his life in the produce business.
From a devout Catholic family he early on showed signs of just wanting to have adventures of all sorts, seeming to be addicted to excitement. When as a teenager he ran away to New Orleans he immediately gravitated to the underworld characters and their exciting life. He felt he was in heaven. This was the life for him.
For upstanding citizens who always want to try to do the right thing and follow the law, Mr. New Orleans is an interesting glimpse into a different and sometimes bizarre way of looking at life. It’s definitely eye-opening and has me look at our criminal and political class in a different light, as almost two sides of the same coin.
Get this book, read it. How the author Randazoo pulled this off is probably another story in itself. But the writing is first rate and he seems to really capture Frenchy’s personality in how he narrates his own life.
And strangely, you can’t help but like Frenchy. I lent this book to my brother and hope to get it back, because it’s one of those books that I want to read again. It really sticks with you and gives you a take on late 20th century New Orleans history from a completely different angle.
OK, full disclosure. Today is my birthday and a buddy of mine sent me these three videos of jazzy happy birthday renditions. The first two are Wynton Marsalis and the last is by pianist Nicole Pesce.
How Many Ways Can You Play Happy Birthday?
This is a video of Wynton Marsalis in a masterclass somewhere in France jammin’, jivin’ and improvising this simple melody. Gives you a real idea of how jazz is done.
And here we go with Wynton Marsalis in a sextet. The piano improv is wild, all over the place, brilliant. And he’s not even looking at the freaking keys! At the end it feels like we’re on the streets of New Orleans.
Ever wondered how Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin or Mozart would attack Happy Birthday. Well, here we got Nicole Pesce showing us how. The best is when she does a drunk Mozart playing the keyboard upside down. Wow!
New Orleans musician Gina Forsyth is a regular at the Neutral Ground Coffee House and can be seen backing such artists as Cajun musician Bruce Daigrepont, singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, and recently Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. Just as talented on guitar as she is on fiddle she also has a unique and distinctive voice.
New Orleans Musician Gina Forsyth’s The Sweetest Sound: One of the Best Songs Ever Written?
Cover are from Gina’s latest CD Promised Land. Photo Phillip Gould
Besides being such an excellent musician she is also a great songwriter. In the video below she performs what in my view is one of the best songs ever written. Have a listen. You can also find on iTunes the studio version which has a very mysterious, haunting quality that gives me goose bumps no matter how many times I’ve heard it.
Gina also performs with her all woman trio The Malvinas. I heard them play at the Neutral Ground and let me tell ya that each voice is not only unique but excellent and the blending of voices is exquisite. You can tell they are having fun performing which makes it fun for the audience as well. Gina will also be performing with the Diagrepont band at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on the Fais Do Do stage.
New Orleans musician Gina Forsyth is a powerful musical force to be reckoned with. Indeed. Just another of our excellent musicians that makes New Orleans music so special
Rich Collins of the New Orleans band Imagination Movers has just released his second solo album. The Imagination Movers are one of the most popular bands for kids in the world owing to the Disney show they had going for three seasons that was translated in many different languages. That show was shot on a soundstage in Harahan not far from my house.
Rich Collins of New Orleans Band Imagination Movers Releases Solo Album Golden Pick – Watch
Rich Collins and his Golden Pick playing music in the park.
I watched that show several times and was amazed at the music, the fun and the creativity. It was very entertaining. The four Movers were all naturals on camera and is probably one of the reasons they are so popular in their live shows.
The group was started by four best friends in New Orleans who had an idea for a band that would create and perform pop music for kids but still could be appreciated by adults, too.
Well, they’ve done a good job of it because they’ve been going strong for many years now playing gigs in New Orleans as well as traveling the United States doing festivals and major events in New York and Washington D.C. So I guess you could say that they’ve become a big deal.
This song Golden Pick is the title track to the new CD. It’s fun, upbeat and just has this infections rhythm that makes ya wanna dance. And it’s shot right there on the banks of the Mississippi River and what looks to be City Park.
The New Orleans Band Imagination Movers is a great project and can’t wait to see what other great music and art projects happen in this city that go global.
The New Orleans fly is a nice big spot of land right there on the river behind Audubon Park. It’s a place built up years ago by the Corps of Engineers and is now used by families, students and all kinds of folks from all over the city for games and picnics and just taking it easy out by the river. But now that is being threatened.
Time is Nigh to Save the New Orleans Fly. Would You Like to Help Us?
10,000 plus opponents take on both the wealthiest man in Louisiana and the most beloved athlete, to block the construction of a stadium on the FLY, named Benson – Brees Soccer Complex.
There is a nice modern facility built a while ago by Carrollton Boosters to provide several baseballs diamonds for little league games. When games are in process traffic increases and parking is near impossible. In other words it gets really crowded. But it’s nice that this area has all these multiple uses.
Now some bigwigs want to come in and put up a soccer complex, plowing up a huge piece of land to put in astroturf, taking down at least 20 old growth beautiful oak trees, putting in 30 foot high bleachers and fencing it off so it can only be used for scheduled games. It’s a pretty big chunk of land that they want to take over. And it’s kind of interesting that the Corps of Engineers has forbidden them from starting the project while the river is so high. Hm.
Anyway, the deal is that it seems the folks putting this together have attempted to bury this whole project so that the public would not be able to have any input on this. And just in time it was found out and people were able to voice their objections before the city council. And so far it seems that they’ve been able to stop or at least delay the project so far.
In my view there are many other places in the city that would be a better fit where they could take over a piece of land that’s not as used and as beloved as much as the Fly.
Watch the video. It gives a concise explanation of the whole dealings with views of the exact spot of land that they want to take over. And if you are so inclined would you please go to this link and sign the petition to save the New Orleans fly? You can also go the social page for the group trying to stop this thing at Save the New Orleans Fly.
“It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than own the entire state of Ohio.” — Lafcadio Hearn…. New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the world. There is something about this city that has a tendency to take hold of you and won’t let go. If you are born […]more →