RRAAM to host tribute to Dave Bartholomew

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie
A portion of the Rural Roots of Jazz exhibit at RRAAM

To kick off its Rural Roots of Jazz Concert Series, the River Road African American Museum (RRAAM) will host a tribute to Dave Bartholomew, Sr.

Bartholomew, Sr., who was born in the rural Louisiana river town, Edgard, noted in a recent conversation with the museum’s staff, that he spent some of his teenage years in Donaldsonville under the music tutorship of Professor Claiborne Williams.

Claiborne Williams, not only taught me music, he taught me how to be a gentleman," Bartholomew Sr. said.

The the 95-year-oldGrammy award winning Rock and Roll, Songwriter and Blues Hall of Famer is a man of many talents as a songwriter, producer, bandleader and horn player who spans many eras of popular music genres. Known in many circles for his long and fruitful music and songwriting partnership with another crescent city music personality, Antoine "Fats" Domino.

The team of Bartholomew and Domino co-wrote many songs that became monster record hits. The titles include "Ain't it a Shame," "I'm in Love Again," "Blue Monday," "I'm Walkin'," and "Valley of Tears," to mention a very few. But there were other major successes as well. Bartholomew produced a series of memorable hits with such artists as Lloyd Price ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy"), Shirley and Lee ("Let the Good Times Roll") and Smiley Lewis ("I Hear You Knocking," and "One Night") among others.

The concert series takes its name from RRAAM's 13-year-old popular exhibit and features Dave Bartholomew, Sr. along with Fats Domino. The exhibit also showcases Donaldsonville born musicians Plas Johnson - a saxophone player from original Pink Panther - and Renald Richard - Ray Charles' first band leader.

The concert series was originally called "Jazz on the Avenue".

"We did our first Jazz on the Avenue about eight years ago," said RRAAM director Kathe Hambrick-Jackson.

Hambrick-Jackson said while Rural Roots is set to be a concert series, a line-up will not be released until future funding is secured. The tribute to Bartholomew Sr. is being funded by RRAAM through a grant from Shell.

"We are looking for industry partners to help fund the future Rural Roots of Jazz Festival," Hambrick-Jackson said. "Partners to join us and Shell to present these concerts on a more regular basis for Donaldsonville."

The first concert in the series, honoring Dave Bartholomew, Sr., will be held Sunday, July 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at RRAAM,406 Charles St., Donaldsonville.