The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.
"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."
In its municipal survey released in November, the Human Rights Campaign scored Baton Rouge a two out of 100 based on the policies and services the city has in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Only Montgomery, Al., Frankfort, Ky. and Jefferson City, Mo. scored lower.
So we wondered if Baton Rouge’s dismal score is indicative of life for LGBT people here.
On the tough side of Terpsichore Street in New Orleans stands a duplex — a two-story, wood-framed building with wood floors, high ceilings and a nice fireplace. But this old house is empty: no furniture, no walls, no electricity, no toilet. Iron bars hide the windows; there's a lockbox on the door. The facade is three different shades of blecch, blurgh and blah.
Even in a city known for its eccentrics, Ernie K-Doe was in another dimension. The New Orleans musician always knew — and said, loudly — that he was special. And for one week in a life of wild ups and downs, he managed to pierce the national consciousness with a chart-topping hit: 1961's "Mother in Law."
If the sheer variety of holiday music that pops up each winter is any indication, there's no genre that can't handle a little Christmas spirit. This year, Louisiana country singer Sammy Kershaw decided to test that theory with the sounds of the bayou. His new album of Cajun-infused holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
Author Myra Jolivet is a lot of things. She’s a former TV personality, a communications strategist, a brain tumor survivor, and above all a California native with Louisiana Creole roots.
In Jolivet's new murder-mystery novel, a family therapist from California survives her fiancé’s plot to kill her, embraces her gift of psychic visions and learns her Creole heritage is the foundation of her survival.
In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.
The whole class burst into laughter.
"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"