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Blakeview: LeRoux's 'New Orleans Ladies'

The song reached the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978

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Forty years ago this summer, a song by a Louisiana band began its rise on the Billboard music charts: "New Orleans Ladies," performed by the Baton Rouge-based band LeRoux. In it, lead singer Jeff Pollard describes those "Creole babies" with a sassy style who sashay by, "all the way from Bourbon Street to Esplanade." The song was written by Hoyt Garrick and Leon Medica, the bassist for LeRoux. According to Tom Aswell's book Louisiana Rocks!, the song originally was written for French musician Dick Rivers, who rejected it. Medica then pitched it to Pollard. The band changed its name to Louisiana's LeRoux and in July 1978 included the song on its self-titled debut album. "New Orleans Ladies" reached No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 that summer and became the band's anthem. Gambit readers even voted it the best New Orleans song of the 20th century in one survey. Though Pollard left the band and its members changed over the years, LeRoux, which takes its name from the essential ingredient in Louisiana cooking, continues to perform. It has toured with A-listers such as Chicago, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers Band. In 2007, the group received a Grammy nomination for its work with Tab Benoit and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

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