I was born right around the time Jelly Roll Morton, one of our favorite New
Orleans pianists, died. He was taught by my grandfather, James Carroll Booker I.
All the men in my family have been piano players. My grandfather was a monster.
I'm James Carroll Booker III, and I was the cream of the crop ! |
Of course, the doctors and patients of Anchora Mental Institution gave
their favorite patient a standing ovation for entertaining them. So
did the prison officials at Angola State Prison in Louisiana. The Warden of Paris
Prison in New Orleans was especially impressed and to prove it granted Convict
#70567 - James Carroll Booker III - a telephone-equipped office in the
Rehabilitation Department of the jail to preside over the Prison Music Foundation.
The patients at the bug-house were starving for entertainment, and so were the
inmates in jail. However, the spectators and participants of the recording session
were individuals who were accustomed to being involved with musical giants on a
round-the-clock basis. Coril Joseph of the States-Item said: "I think we're
dreaming. That's what we're doing - dreaming."
At one point Earl King exclaimed, "I'm watchin' this shit man, but I can't
believe it. This is too much." The best is still yet to come, buddy. Wait till you pick
up on the entire LP by His Highness, namely James Carroll Booker III. Unique
distinction has never known nor visited a more worthy servant. New Orleans finally
decided to make an enormous gift to the world of site, sound and emotion in the
form of that "little old walkin' powerhouse" who happens to be Little Ol' Me.
The Late (Great) James Booker
New Orleans, 1976