For Christians, Shrove Tuesday is a traditional day given to self-examination and seeking absolution for wrongdoing. The day is also known as Fat Tuesday – or Mardi Gras – the last day to indulge in rich foods such as butter, eggs and sugar, before beginning forty days of Lenten fasting. A pancake feast is the custom for many. If pancakes aren’t enough for a last-day blowout, then take to the streets and join the Mardi Gras or Carnival celebrations. Which brings us to Professor Longhair.
Roy Byrd, born in 1918, grew up on the streets of New Orleans. He progressed from tap dancing for tips on Bourbon Streets and gambling with card games, to becoming a piano legend, revered long past his death in 1980. Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Marcia Ball and many others paid homage to Professor Longhair – nicknamed for his shaggy mane – as their inspiration and whom they did and still do try to imitate.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!