RRAAM tributes musical legend

LaTreshia Simon Special to The Donaldsonville Chief

A musical tribute honoring Dave Bartholomew, Sr. was held last Sunday evening at the River Road African American Museum, as part of its Rural Roots of Jazz concert series.

Visitors traveled from both near and far to help celebrate an icon and his contribution to music.

The live, jazz music was performed by the Michael Foster Project. Some members of the audience began swing dancing as the band played Bartholomew’s top hits, including “Ain’t it a shame” and “Walk in New Orleans.”

Bartholomew’s wife, children and grandchildren were in attendance for the concert tribute.

It is always overwhelming for my daddy to be recognized all over the world but it is nothing like being recognized at home, said Don Bartholomew, son of Dave Bartholomew, Sr. “When we got the call that you guys was doing this we were very overwhelmed.”

Bartholomew continued that his dad always talked about the country.

We just want our dad to be recognized from where he is from.,” he said. “He talked to us often about cutting sugar cane and Mr. Claiborne Williams.”

My dad always educated his family about Donaldsonville and Edgard."

Bartholomew, Sr. was born on Dec. 24, 1920 in Edgard, Louisiana. He moved to New Orleans during his childhood, as a teenager, he received music lessons from the late Claiborne Williams in Donaldsonville.

Bartholomew, Sr. has been active in many musical genres from jazz to rock and roll to rhythm and blues and to swing music. Over the past few decades, he has written and produced songs for many artists, including Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Elton John.

He is most well known for discovering Antoine “Fats” Domino in 1949. Bartholomew, Sr. and Domino co-wrote many songs together that became recorded hits, including “Ain’t it a Shame,” “I’m Walking” and “Walking to New Orleans.”

They received recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for being the greatest sellers.

Ron Bartholomew, Bartholomew, Sr.'s son and manager, thanked the city of Donaldsonville, the mayor, state representatives, Kathe Hambrick-Jackson and others who played a major part in honoring his father.

It is an honor for you guys to be able to give my daddy his flowers while he is here. It’s a blessing and thank y’all so much," Ron Bartholomew said. “I was glad we were able to get my father out to the people so that y’all could see him, touch him and talk to him.”

Kathe Hambrick-Jackson, CEO and Founder of the museum concluded Bartholomew, Sr.'s tribute by placing his brick in the Donaldsonville’s Jazz Plaza.