"Miss New Orleans" CD Helps Build Gulf Coast Libraries
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 7, 2007
In late 2005, when the Library of Traditional Jazz produced
and released a new CD to raise money for storm-battered New
Orleans, Bill Ross had not yet witnessed the devastation wrought
by Hurricane Katrina.
Last spring, as copies of “Do You Know What It Means
to Miss New Orleans?” were being sold, Ross volunteered
there with Habitat for Humanity, making even more poignant
his recent delivery of $10,000 in hurricane relief money.
Ross, head of the Milne Special Collections and Archives in
Dimond Library, handed over the proceeds from CD sales to the
American Library Association during its midwinter meeting in
Seattle last month. The money will go toward rebuilding libraries
along the Gulf Coast.
Remaining funds and further sales—there are still a
couple hundred of the nearly 1,000 discs available—will
go to benefit displaced musicians.
“You couldn’t take a picture of it all; even a
film wouldn’t do it justice,” Ross says of the
ruin he saw in the New Orleans. “In the Lower Ninth it
goes as far as you can see. It’s what I imagine Hiroshima
must have looked like.”
Photo: Curtis Compton, ALA Cognotes,
From left to right: Margaret Booker, Executive Director, Missouri
Library Association; Bill Ross, professor and Head, Milne Special
Collections and Archives; and Michael Dowling, director, ALA
Chapter Relations Office.
The music on “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New
Orleans” was complied from recordings of UNH’s
Traditional Jazz Series concerts maintained in Special Collections.
The 15-track, 70-minute CD sells for $20, including $2 for
shipping and handling, or $18 if picked up at Special Collections
in Dimond Library.
Selections include “Basin Street Blues,” “Way
Down Yonder in New Orleans?” and “Do You Know What
It Means to Miss New Orleans?” Musicians represented
include Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Dave McKenna, Dick Hyman,
Jimmy Mazzy, Eli Newberger, Bud Freeman, Peanuts Hucko, and
The fundraising project was the first of its kind for the
library. Ross calls the making of the CD a unique occasion
and a labor of love. Professor emeritus Paul Verrette and jazz
curator Steve Cooper were also involved in the project, which
was begun days after Hurricane Katrina hit.
“It was great to have a good reason to put together
these great historical recordings, but it took us a lot of
time,” he says. “We had to deal with reel-to-reel;
four track; cassettes; everything. And then we had to get clearance
from the copyright holders.”
Now that things are settling down with this project there
has been talk of doing other CDs in the future, Ross says.
“It’s something we’d like to do, Ross says. “The
Traditional Jazz Series has hosted and recorded so many great
artists – and there are so many good causes out there,”
The order a CD or for more information, go to http://www.izaak.unh.edu/nhltj/ or call 2-2714.
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