Professor Longhair Meets Paul McCartney

11:48 April 23, 2019
By: Jeffrey Sladkus

On March 24, 1975, only months before Wings embarked on its hugely successful Wings Over the World Tour, and as a launch to their new album Venus and Mars (which was recorded in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint's Sea Saint Studio), Paul and Linda McCartney decided to have their own Mardi Gras celebration on the Queen Mary-which was (and still is) docked in Long Beach, California.

Among the 200 invitees were celebrities the likes of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gay, The Jackson 5, and Dean Martin (to name a few). The McCartneys also invited a variety of Crescent City greats, like Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe, and Chocolate Milk, as well as The Meters and the legendary Professor Longhair. Luckily for us all, Sir Paul had the forethought to record these performances, and in 1978, Professor Longhair's set was released as the album Live on the Queen Mary, which was co- produced by Sir Paul and features a cover photo taken by Linda.

Now, some 40 year later, Live on the Queen Mary has been officially reissued on a variety of platforms, including a newly remastered 180-gram vinyl LP, in both standard and deluxe editions. The deluxe edition is accompanied by some bonus items, such as a double A-side 7" single, featuring "Tipitina" and "Mess Around," as well as some pictures of Fess and a letter signed by the McCartneys. The set is energetic, the band is blistering, and highlights include "Mess Around" and the standards "Stagger Lee" and "Everyday I have the Blues," along with Fess's own hits "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" and "Tipitina."

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