Culture

After Katrina
5:52 am
Sat February 2, 2013

For New Orleans, Superdome A Symbol Of City's Spirit

The San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm

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.

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Music Interviews
1:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

The 'True Story' Inside Aaron Neville's Doo-Wop World

Aaron Neville's latest album, My True Story, is a collection of the doo-wop songs he grew up singing in New Orleans.
Sarah A. Friedman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

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."

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What We're Reading
5:10 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Author Pens Stories of African American Life in Rural North Carolina

Stephanie Powell Watts, 2012 recipient of the Ernest J. Gains Award for Literary Excellence presented by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Credit Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Powell Watts will be accepting this year’s Ernest Gains Award for Literary Excellence from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Watts is being recognized for her collection of 10 stories, “We Are Taking Only What We Need," chronicling the lives of African Americans in rural North Carolina.

Watts writes from experience. 


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LGBT Life
6:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

In Baton Rouge, the Closet is Crowded

FILE: A group from Baton Rouge's L Bar holds up a pride banner at the capitol, June 23, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

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.


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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Preserving The Home, And History, Of New Orleans' Piano Professor

Professor Longhair performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, circa 1970.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 1:10 pm

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.

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Music
4:16 pm
Sun December 23, 2012

Ernie K-Doe: A One-Hit Weirdo's Rise, Fall And Redemption

Ernie K-Doe and his fans at the Warehouse in New Orleans in 1974.
Michael P. Smith The Historic New Orleans Collection

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 12:33 pm

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."

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Music
2:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Country Singer Sammy Kershaw's Cajun Christmas

Sammy Kershaw's new album of Cajun holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 4:44 am

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.

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What We're Reading
4:40 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

'Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper': Where Louisiana and California Collide

Myra Jolivet, author of 'Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper'
Credit Myra Jolivet

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.


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Talk of the Nation
1:44 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says, 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:00 pm

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.'"

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Food and Drink
12:00 am
Fri August 24, 2012

A Crash Course in Jambalaya

Fifty-four teams competed in this year's ExxonMobil United Way Jambalaya Cook-Off. (WRKF)

A few weeks ago WRKF's Ashley Westerman was asked to be a judge at the 23rd Annual ExxonMobil United Way Jambalaya Cook-Off.

The event is the official kick-off of the 2012 United Way Campaign.

As someone who has only been in the state for a little over five months, Westerman knew it would be a crash course in Louisiana Cuisine.


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