Late-And-Great Historic New Orleans Venues
A now shuttered historic New Orleans venue which Mr. Ernie Elly frequently performed at was called Crazy Shirley's housed on Bourbon Street. In the heart of the French Quarter, Crazy Shirley's was known for having some of the best live jazz in the city. In the early 1970's, Mr. Elly began subbing for Bob French in the Storyville Jazz Band, a famed ensemble that included Ellis Marsalis on piano, George French on bass, Bob French on drums, and Teddy Riley on trumpet. When Bob left the band, Ernie joined full-time. “We’d be playing at Crazy Shirley’s and we used to walk over by the Preservation Hall and take a little peek. That’s when they used to keep the shutters open. I heard Louis Barbarin, Cie Frazier, all the old-timers.”
Mr. Elly also performed at Club Desire. From the 1940's to the 1970's Club Desire in the Lower 9th Ward showcased many legendary performances, including concerts by New Orleans R&B icons Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino. Mr. Elly recalls performing there while still in High School with his first band. "We were mostly all 18 except for the guitar player who was 16," Ellie recalls, "we had to draw a little mustache on him and put him in the back to get him in the clubs sometimes."
Learn more about Club Desire by clicking here.
Club Desire Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Karen Apricot