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The Great Dr. John

We are very lucky that there is a tremendous amount of video of Dr. John on YouTube, and I encourage everyone to check it all out. Most of it is very good quality. As somebody said in the comments, Dr. John is a national treasure.

I don’t think it’s possible to not like him. I don’t believe that this is a song–I think he is just fooling around. I chose it because of the unique side view, which shows the intensity with which he plays.

The home page picture of Dr. John — maybe he used his real name of Mac Rebennack for the occasion — and the Dalai Lama is from Tulane’s 2013 commencement. Check outΒ a version of “St. James Infirmary” with Eric Clapton.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.