Category Archives: Ponderosa Stomp 2013

Introducing A Closer Walk, an Interactive Map of New Orleans Music History Sites

We’re excited to introduce you to A Closer Walk (ACW), an interactive map of New Orleans music history sites at The Stomp has teamed up with WWOZ radio, Bent Media, ePrime Media, and author Randy Fertel to tell the story of New Orleans’ greatest musical places, people, and moments in pictures, audio, and video.

New Orleans Music History, Block by Block

ACW is mobile-optimized, with an intuitive design that’s easy to use on a desktop or on your mobile device as you navigate the city using GPS. Filters let you find historic sites based on your interests and location — for example, clubs where the Meters played in the 1970s, or landmark record studios within walking distance of you. Pre-curated tours are available, too.

Put a Tour Guide in Your Pocket

A team of experts has written and selected the best available content about each location. You can read descriptions by acclaimed music writers like John Broven and Jeff Hannusch, see rare archival photos of sites in their heyday, listen to music and oral histories with artists, and watch music videos and interviews. Links to related books, articles, and documentaries let you do deep dives on your favorite subjects.

Browse a Treasure Trove of Artifacts

ACW is a first-of-its-kind collaboration, with specialists drawing material from personal holdings, community-based collections, and institutions including the Amistad Research Center, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, Louisiana State Museum, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive. On ACW you’ll find everything from Allen Toussaint’s business card to photos of female impersonators on stage at the Dew Drop Inn.

Find Gems from the Stomp’s Archives

ACW is a great way to relive highlights from previous Ponderosa Stomp Festivals, or catch up on something you missed. It features photos from every Stomp Concert going back to 2003, and videos from every Music History Conference, like this panel from 2009, when Dr. John revealed why Earl King recorded Professor Longhair’s vocals on “Big Chief”:

Discover More Than a Century of Musical Landmarks

ACW has been years in the making. Early on, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation partnered with project manager and technology solution provider Bent Media to design a site focused on postwar music history–Bent worked with the Stomp on the landmark exhibit “Unsung Heroes: The Secret History of Louisiana Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which was featured in the Louisiana State Museum from 2009 – 2014.

Later, community radio station WWOZ brought us together with ePrime Media and Randy Fertel, who were chronicling the history of traditional jazz in New Orleans. Merging our efforts yielded ACW, which covers New Orleans music history from Buddy Bolden to Juvenile.

Help us make history in New Orleans

For too long, accurate, comprehensive information about New Orleans’ musical legacy has been hard to find. While the city has a wealth of historic locations, many are unmarked, hiding in plain sight. ACW establishes a network of sites, like a digital version of Mississippi’s “Blues Trail,” to highlight their significance and, by recording the current condition of each, to advocate for their preservation.

Yes, go there!

This October, the Ponderosa Stomp Music History Conference and Concert are walking distance from each other, and from dozens of historic sites in downtown New Orleans. With ACW, you can customize a tour — say  from your hotel to Cosimo Matassa’s storied recording studios in the French Quarter. Or hop in a car and check out Fats Domino’s Lower Ninth Ward compound and Ray Charles’ favorite spot for gumbo.

We’ll be adding new sites to the map before the Stomp, so find us at to keep up with the latest.

Our goal is to present 300 landmarks on the map in honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial in 2018. To learn more and support the effort, email

If you haven’t made plans for this year’s festival, now is the time!




Charlie Gracie

Philadelphia was a top rock and roll recording hub during the late 1950s and early ‘60s, hosting several highly influential labels that dominated the charts. It didn’t hurt one bit that Dick Clark’s ABC-TV show American Bandstand aired out of Philly; the program could propel a young singer to national stardom virtually overnight and often … Continue reading Charlie Gracie

Kent Harris: Rhythm & Blues with Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew

You may not know his name, but rest assured you’ve heard Kent Harris’ songs. The Coasters latched onto his slice-of-inner city-life vignette “Clothes Line (Wrap It Up),” which they retitled “Shoppin’ For Clothes.” Bo Diddley dug the boisterous “Cops And Robbers.” Veteran orchestra leader Les Brown and budding country star Roy Clark both romped through … Continue reading Kent Harris: Rhythm & Blues with Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew

Texas Rockabilly Legend Bobby Crown

“I’ve Got A One Way Ticket on This Lonesome Railroad Track” The Dallas-Fort Worth area was a roiling rockabilly hub during the idiom’s wild and woolly formative years. Sid King & the Five Strings, Mac Curtis, Gene Summers, Johnny “Hot Rock” Carroll, Ronnie Dawson, “Groovey” Joe Poovey, even a transplanted Gene Vincent were all part … Continue reading Texas Rockabilly Legend Bobby Crown

Chris Clark – Motown’s Great White Hope

The United States answer to Dusty Springfield Makes a Rare Live Appearance at the Stomp No one else even remotely like Chris Clark graced Motown’s abundant 1960s talent roster. A statuesque six-foot-tall platinum blonde from northern California with ravishing good looks who possessed a stunning voice tailor-made for belting real deal soul, Clark’s closest competition … Continue reading Chris Clark – Motown’s Great White Hope