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Professor Longhair

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Birth Name: Henry Roeland Byrd
Born: 1918/12/19
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: 1980/01/30
Years Active: 1930s-1980
Genres: Blues, Music Of New Orleans

Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd (December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980), better known as Professor Longhair, was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. His distinctive style was the result of learning to play piano on an instrument that was missing some keys. He began his career in New Orleans in 1948. Mike Tessitore, owner of the Caldonia Club, gave Longhair his stage name. Longhair first recorded in a band called the Shuffling Hungarians in 1949, creating four songs (including the first version of his signature song, “Mardi Gras in New Orleans”) for the Star Talent record label. Union problems curtailed their release, but Longhair's next effort for Mercury Records the same year was a winne... Continue Bio >>

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