New Orleans' legendary R&B singer, songwriter and piano player, laid down his first music tracks at Cosimo Matassa's recording studio with help from producer Dave Bartholemew 60 years ago last week — on Dec. 10, 1949. One of the tracks, "The Fat Man," became Domino's first hit, helping to introduce "the New Orleans sound" of rhythm and blues to the rest of America. During his career, Fats churned out 46 R&B hits, 31 of which crossed over to the pop charts. He sold more than 65 million records in the 1950s, second only to Elvis Presley.
Chef Duke LoCicero,
owner of Cafe Giovanni, raised $10,000 recently at his annual fundraiser for his Chef Duke's Foundation for Kids. LoCicero will use the money to give toys to area children in need. Local hospitality and restaurant workers collected an additional $2,000 in toys that LoCicero will distribute when he visits Children's Hospital and Tulane Hospital. He established his foundation in 1992 and has since given away more than $160,000 in toys to local children.
Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women
gave away 200 beanbag chairs and books at the New Orleans Public Library's downtown main location on Dec. 5. As part of an early Hanukkah celebration, local kids could show their library card and agree to read with their parents at least 5 minutes a day to receive free gifts. Local businessmen Rick Davis and Murray Valene donated the beanbag chairs. Reading is Fundamental, a national literacy organization, provided the books.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
asked a panel of Louisiana health professionals during a recent hearing if our state was becoming a "permanent ward of the federal government." Issa posed the question despite representing a state that issued $2.6 billion in IOUs last summer when it couldn't pay its bills. He also failed to recognize that the reason the state needs more federal funding is because of the losses to the city's health infrastructure after the federal levees failed following Hurricane Katrina.