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BB King's Blues Club…

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Jul 28, 2016 - Jan 08, 2026
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Ernie K-Doe subject of second Louisiana Musicians Biography

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Teresa Devlin
Marketing Manager
The Historic New Orleans Collection
504-598-7170
teresad@hnoc.org

Vicki Voelker
Communications Strategist
Gambel Communications
504-324-4242
vicki@gambelpr.com

 

Ernie K-Doe subject of second Louisiana Musicians Biography

THNOC's latest publication will be released April 11 with presentation, reception

March 2012 | New Orleans, LA -  Legendary showman Ernie K-Doe returns to the spotlight this spring as the subject of volume two in The Historic New Orleans Collection's Louisiana Musicians Biography Series.

With careful detail, journalist and musician Ben Sandmel captures the unique odyssey of the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Universe in the visually stunning new book "Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans." THNOC will officially release the book Wednesday, April 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 533 Royal St. The evening will open with a conversation with the author followed by a book signing and reception. The program is free and will mark readers' first opportunity to receive the book.

From the 1960s until his death in 2001, K-Doe distinguished himself as one of the most colorful and beloved figures in the ever-evolving New Orleans music scene. Born at Charity Hospital in 1936, K-Doe honed his vocal talents in the city's gospel circuit and backstreet lounges. In 1961 he rocketed to stardom with the hit single "Mother-In-Law," written and produced by Allen Toussaint. The track became the first recorded by a New Orleans artist to top both the pop and R&B charts.

 Throughout years of trials and tribulations, K-Doe's confidence and magnetism attracted fans of all ages from around the globe-long before technology fueled near overnight celebrity.

Sandmel takes readers backstage in this intimately framed biography, featuring exclusive interviews with
K-Doe, his wife Antoinette Dorsey Fox, their family and friends, and more than 100 musicians, including Toussaint, Aaron Neville and Dr. John.

In many ways, K-Doe's saga is universal-it's the tale of a man who rose, fell, and found himself again. But the Emperor's larger-than-life personality and perpetually positive outlook make his story extraordinary.

The book is already generating buzz, with Eric Overmyer, cocreator of HBO's "Treme," observing that "Ben Sandmel has captured and conveyed the loopy genius, linguistic and musical, that was Ernie K-Doe.... The prose is lively, the quotations generous, the photos and graphics spectacular. This is one of the five essential books on New Orleans culture. You gotta get it."

THNOC launched the Louisiana Musicians Biography Series in 2010 to document the region's rich musical heritage. The first title, "Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man" by Harold Battiste Jr. with Karen Celestan, won the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 2011.

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Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, The Collection offers guided tours, free rotating exhibitions and a research facility. Visit http://www.hnoc.org/ or call (504) 523-4662 for details.