Mardi Gras 2009 will be remembered for several things: the best possible weather possible for a Fat Tuesday, the largest crowds since Katrina, and the passing of Antoinette K-Doe in the early morning hours. When I heard, I didn't want to believe it, but I turned on WWOZ and heard them playing "I'll Be Seeing You" instead of the usual Carnival music, and I knew it was true. It was doubly bizarre, because Antoinette had taken a heart attack on the morning of Mardi Gras 2008.
Alison Fensterstock will have much more about the legacy of Antoinette and her Mother-in-Law Lounge, but for now I'm rereading Noah Bonaparte Pais' cover story from last week, "Rally of the Dolls," which may be Antoinette's last interview. The future of the Mother-in-Law Lounge may be in doubt, but her accomplishments -- from reviving the career of Ernie K-Doe to reviving the tradition of the Baby Dolls -- are not. It's another hard blow in a year that's had enough of them (and when will they stop?), but her legacy lives on.