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Walking RaddyThe Baby Dolls of New Orleans$
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Kim Vaz-Deville

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496817396

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496817396.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

In Memory: Uncle Lionel Batiste (February 11, 1932–July 8, 2012)

In Memory: Uncle Lionel Batiste (February 11, 1932–July 8, 2012)

“Colorful in Life—Rich in Spirit”

(p.167) In Memory: Uncle Lionel Batiste (February 11, 1932–July 8, 2012)
Walking Raddy

Jerry Brock

University Press of Mississippi

The chapter “In Memory: Uncle Lionel Batiste,” traces the life of popular New Orleans musician and cultural activist Uncle Lionel Batiste (born Feb. 11, 1932) in the context of his family, community, music, baby dolls, Dirty Dozen Kazoo Band, Mardi Gras, second line parades, Spiritual churches and ancestry. The experience and enrichment of African American music and cultural traditions, expressions and lifestyles are presented in relationship to social and economic oppression and the Civil War, Reconstruction and the movement for equality, equity and justice. The author challenges the monophonic and repeated reckoning that the practice of Black women masking as Baby Dolls was originated solely by a group of prostitutes from Black Storyville in 1912. The work attempts to define the ambiguous term “baby doll” in historical, social, cultural and political context and traces “baby doll” inclusions in popular music and theater. Uncle Lionel’s mother Alma Batiste started the Batiste baby dolls and was active in community organizing and rose to the position of Reverend Mother Alma Batiste in the Spiritual church. The beginnings of the Dirty Dozen Kazoo Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band along with research into the origination of the second line parade tradition as it relates to Uncle Lionel, his family and neighborhood is advanced. It concludes with Benny Jones and the Treme Brass Band whom Uncle Lionel performed with the last two decades of his life (death July 8, 2012).

Keywords:   Uncle Lionel Batiste, Dirty Dozen, Treme Brass Band, Trepagnier, Original Dixieland Jazz Band

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