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Harold Battiste

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Information about Harold Battiste

Profile image of Harold Battiste

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Jazz Musician
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Red
Favorite Food:
Red Beans, Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.

Birthplace

Born:
10/28/1931
Birth Location:
New Orleans, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Jazz Musician
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Red
Favorite Food:
Red Beans, Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.

Birthplace

Born:
10/28/1931
Birth Location:
New Orleans
See how Harold Battiste is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Musician, composer, arranger, performer and teacher, Harold Raymond Battiste, Jr. was born October 28, 1931, in New Orleans. Young Battiste loved the rich music of his New Orleans neighborhood. Graduating from Gilbert Academy in 1948, Battiste attended New Orleans' Dillard University, earning a B.S. in music in 1953.

Battiste's professional achievements as a producer and arranger for studio, film, stage and television included Sam Cooke's You Send Me, Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe, Joe Jones'sYou Talk Too Much, Barbara George's I Know and Lee Dorsey's Ya Ya. Battiste introduced audiences to New Orleans artist Mac Rebbenack as "Dr. John" and produced his earliest albums. Earning six gold records, Battiste spent thirty years in Los Angeles, including fifteen years with Sonny and Cher. In 1961, Battiste initiated the first African American musician-owned record label, All For One, better known as AFO Records. AFO featured contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians Melvin Lastie, Ellis Marsalis, James Black, Alvin Batiste, Ed Blackwell, Nat Perilliat and Alvin "Red" Tyler. In addition to mentoring and tutoring other music professionals and his musical scoring and conducting for film and television, Battiste lectured at several colleges including the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; Southern University; Mozartium Music School in Innsbruck, Austria; and Le Torri Montanare in Lancano, Italy.

In 1989, he joined Ellis Marsalis on the Jazz Studies faculty of the University of New Orleans. While back in New Orleans Battiste founded the AFO Foundation to document and make available the musical history of the city. Battiste remained active in the community and served as a board member of the Congo Square Cultural Collective, the Louisiana State Music Commission, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Louisiana Jazz Federation, the African Cultural Endowment and numerous other cultural organizations. He received the Beaux Arts Award, the Mayor's Arts Award, the Governor's Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and many others. In 1998, the City of New Orleans proclaimed his birthday, October 28 as Harold Battiste Day with a proclamation from Mayor Marc Morial.

Battiste passed away on June 19, 2015 at age 83.

See how Harold Battiste is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harold Battiste's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his maternal grandparents' occupations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about growing up with his adopted cousin
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood interests and activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes music's role in his childhood community's life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about his childhood interest in music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes the black community's negative perceptions of a music career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes the negative reputation of jazz music in the 1940s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about playing clarinet in the band at F.P. Ricard School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending F.P. Ricard School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Harold Battiste talks about his teacher at F.P. Ricard School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Harold Battiste describes why he enrolled at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes how Gilbert Academy's marching and concert bands shaped his interest in arranging music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes what influenced him to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes how his instrumental music course helped to integrate jazz music into Dillard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about efforts to elevate the perception of jazz music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite jazz musicians while a student at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes how New Orleans, Louisiana develops jazz artists, then exports them outside of New Orleans
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite European musicians and composers during his time at Dillard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his first band
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste describes his first job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes quitting his job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about being an itinerant teacher at Carter G. Woodson High School and McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes why he ended his teaching career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste talks about experimenting with Ornette Coleman's music during his first few months in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke to develop "Soul Stations"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke's record label, SAR Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes founding All For One Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about All For One Records' first hit, Barbara George's 1961 song "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost Barbara George as an artist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost their distribution deal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes the circumstances surrounding Sam Cooke's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes arranging the 1961 Lee Dorsey hit "Ya Ya"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes how he met Sonny Bono
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes the sale of Specialty Records in 1961
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes connecting with Sonny Bono with his move back to Los Angeles, California in 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes the first project he worked on with Sonny Bono
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working on Sonny and Cher's earliest songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about arranging 'I Got You Babe' for Sonny and Cher
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sonny and Cher on their television shows
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about helping Mac Rebennack tour with Sonny and Cher and develop his persona, "Dr. John"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes producing Dr. John's debut album, "Gris-Gris"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste talks about not being acknowledged in developing Dr. John
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Congo Square in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste talks about New Orleans music icons
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste comments on peoples' failure to acknowledge New Orleans' musical pioneers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste talks about Zydeco music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his current projects
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about the death of his parents
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his divorce and children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste shares a message for his children and young people
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 2